For SOME??? Reason, we are still funding "Gain Of Function Research", the kind of reasearch that nearly certainly gave us Covid19.
At the heart of such research lies an idea that can be difficult to understand: danger is not an incidental byproduct of the research; it is central to it. “The nature of this work is to start with a potential pandemic pathogen and enhance either its ability to transmit or its ability to cause disease,” says Richard Ebright, a molecular biologist at Rutgers who has been a vocal opponent of gain-of-function research. “These are pathogens that are not present in nature, not circulating in nature, not circulating in humans or in livestock, in crops or even in the wild. These are pathogens that might not come to exist in years, decades, centuries or millennia, but which are brought into existence through laboratory manipulation.”
This notion — creating viruses that can cause a pandemic in order to study how they behave — is easy to miss because there is no scientific equivalent, even in weapons research. Ebright, also a member of Biosafety Now, characterizes this laboratory risk as “existential, extinction-level risk.”
And much of it is, of course, funded by taxpayer dollars; even today, there is still almost no congressional oversight into what kind of virological experimentation is being done, or how it’s funded.
So we are funding, allowing research to continue even in populated areas, and the crazy train is still running! At least there are some probably useless attempts to stop it.
The pandemic changed that calculus, upsetting the status quo in ways that even loyalists find difficult to resist. In Congress, this has translated into a wave of oversight that the biodefense sector has never before encountered. In 2021, Iowa senator Joni Ernst introduced the Fairness and Accountability in Underwriting Chinese Institutions (FAUCI) Act that would ban gain-of-function research funding. Jim Comer, now chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Jim Jordan, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, have used their powers to bring new information to light, including with calls for testimony. And Florida senator Marco Rubio last year called for Harvard to clarify its involvement with Fauci and the Chinese real estate firm Evergrande (in response to my reporting for The Spectator).
One of our Iowa senators has at least attempted to keep us from paying for "existential, extinction level risk". Thanks Joni! If there are two choices for human extinction in the next 100 years; 1. Climate Change 2. Release of a "global" killer enhanced virus, I think #2 is an easy bet.
What’s clear, however, is that the political impetus remains squarely on one side of the aisle. That is largely to do with an equivalent of “Trump Derangement Syndrome” that we might call the Fauci Effect. “Antho
ny Fauci had the great privilege in 2020 of sharing a screen with Donald Trump,” says Ebright. “He face-palmed on television once and that made him a Democratic Party icon to those unaware of his actual role and his actual actions.”
While Fauci’s famous face-palm at a March 2020 press conference certainly helped his cause, it’s only part of the story. The other part is money. As biodefense funding has ramped up, a quiet but effective lobbying effort has bloomed around it. The heavyweight in the field is the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense, or BCB, an organization whose “team” web page lists a who’s-who of DC powerbrokers, including co-chairs Joseph Lieberman and Tom Ridge and commissioners Donna Shalala, Tom Daschle and Fred Upton. Donors include Danish pharmaceutical company Bavarian Nordic, which makes vaccines for viruses like monkeypox and Ebola; the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, a biotech trade association; and Open Philanthropy, the philanthropy of Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskowitz and his wife Cari Tuna.
We are just not a serious nation, TDS is a disease that may prove fatal to human life ... so I guess that is Trump's fault since he was so evil as to inspire the hate. Right? I'm sure that makes sense to the left.
Regardless of new pushback, gain-of-function research isn’t going anywhere but forward. What’s clear is that the public is awakening to the gain-of-function arms race — some military, some private, some scientific. Unlike the nuclear arms race, which requires massive resources, this race can be pursued in tiny spaces, with relatively small budgets. Despite this, the effects of error or unforeseen outcomes will be nothing short of global.
It could "just" be about the massive wealth that could be created by killing a few more millions with a virus like enhanced Ebola, and then selling an actual vaccination for huge amounts of money. Covid ought to have shown people of even less than average intellect that the elites care nothing about the masses. They will lock them down no matter what the cost to those that aren't billionaires ... in lives, hopelessness, loss of their livelihoods, damage to their children, etc.
We are told that Climate Change is an "existential threat". It isn't hard for me to imagine the .01% deciding that killing everyone else to save the planet, and starting all over again with a utopian world is really best for everyone in even the medium term.