Dr Anthony Fauci defended controversial ‘gain of function’ research and said the benefits ‘outweigh’ the risks of a potential pandemic.
In a 2012 paper published in mBio, the nation’s top infectious disease expert discussed the research – which involves altering an organism or a disease to increase its development, transmissibility or range of hosts in can affect – regarding the highly infectious H5N1 flu virus.
Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), wrote the voluntary moratorium on gain-of-function research should be lifted due to the information that might be learned from these experiments.
‘In an unlikely but conceivable turn of events, what if that scientist becomes infected with the virus, which leads to an outbreak and ultimately triggers a pandemic?’ he wrote at the time.
‘Scientists working in this field might say – as indeed I have said – that the benefits of such experiments and the resulting knowledge outweigh the risks.’
It comes as questions swirl over whether or not SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, was undergoing gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) in China, and whether the U.S. funded such research.
Neither Fauci or the NIAID immediately replied to DailyMail.com’s request for comment.
Dr Anthony Fauci defended ‘gain of function’ experiments in a 2012 paper discussing the H5N1 flu virus and said the benefits ‘outweigh’ the risks. Pictured: Fauci answers a question from Republican Senator from Kentucky Rand Paul, May 11
There have been recent questions surrounding whether or not the coronavirus was being studied for ‘gain of function’ at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Pictured: A worker stands next to a cage with mice inside the P4 laboratory at the WIV, February 2017
In the paper, Fauci admitted there are concerns that a pandemic could be caused by less experienced scientists not well trained in gain-of-function research.
‘Putting aside the specter of bioterrorism for the moment, consider this hypothetical scenario: an important gain-of-function experiment involving a virus with serious pandemic potential is performed in a well-regulated, world-class laboratory by experienced investigators,’ he wrote.
‘But the information from the experiment is then used by another scientist who does not have the same training and facilities and is not subject to the same regulation.’
Fauci argued that it is more likely for pandemic to occur in nature, with a virus that infects animals mutating and then spreading to humans.
China claims that the virus originated in bats before it jumped to humans via an ‘intermediary animal.’
However, there has been speculation the pathogen may have leaked from the WIV after a report this week revealed three researchers from the lab sought care for the illness, months before the virus spread to the broader population.
Some have speculated that scientists at the lab were performing gain-of-function research when the virus escaped.
In a Senate panel on Wednesday, Fauci defended allocating $600,000 to a group called EcoHealth Alliance, which then paid the WIV to study the risk that bat coronaviruses could infect humans.
He testified that scientists in Wuhan were not supposed to be doing gain of function experiments and that he had seen the results of the studies that had been conducted and none were of this variety.
But Republican Senator John Kennedy suggested those at the Wuhan lab could have used U.S. taxpayer money on secret experiments.
Fauci admitted there are concerns if less experience scientists perform the experiments, but said a pandemic is most likely to occur ‘in nature’. Pictured: Fauci appears before a House committee to discuss the budget
Fauci admitted there is no way to know if ‘gain of function’ experiments on bat coronaviruses were being performed using U.S. tax dollars.
‘There’s no way of guaranteeing that,’ he testified at a hearing before the Appropriations Committee.
‘But in our experience with grantees, including Chinese grantees, which we have had interactions with for a very long period of time – they are very competent, trustworthy scientists.’
On Wednesday, the White House released a statement saying U.S. intelligence agencies couldn’t state for certain the origin of that coronavirus.
The Biden administration is now giving intelligence agencies 90 days to dig in and come up with a report that has a more definitive answer.
US liberal media’s Covid U-turn: A year after TRASHING theory that COVID originated from a Wuhan lab because Trump supported the suggestion – America’s woke mainstream news outlets suddenly start asking if it’s true!
By Harriet Alexander for DailyMail.com
The liberal media have finally conceded that COVID-19 may have originated in a Wuhan laboratory – after a year spent ridiculing the suggestion.
The first fatality from COVID-19 was reported by Chinese state media on January 11, 2020, when a 61-year-old man who was a regular customer at a market in Wuhan died. The first confirmed case in the United States was 10 days later, when a man returned to Washington state from Wuhan.
Within a week, on January 26, 2020, the first article blaming the Wuhan Institute of Virology for the outbreak was published, in The Washington Times. Yet most mainstream media disputed the claims, dismissing them outright or even decrying them as racist.
When Donald Trump, on May 1, 2020, said he had ‘a high degree of confidence’ that the virus escaped from a lab, the New York Times, CNN, and NPR were quick to mock his comments.
CNN, which by the end of the Trump administration was brazen in its hostility to the president and his advisors, was almost gleeful in its mockery of the idea that the virus could have come from a laboratory.
The Washington Post, New York Times, and NPR were equally dismissive of suggestions that the virus could have come from a laboratory.
The Washington Post published a fact checker piece on May 25 saying the theory had ‘suddenly’ become credible after it was repeatedly brought up. It came after a year of naysaying from the liberal media who never accepted that it might be true
There is outrage over the fact that for the last year, the theory has been widely discredited by the media in America when it may explain the entire pandemic
Some outlets, such as the Huffington Post, even branded any suggestion the virus could have stemmed from a lab as a ‘toxic conspiracy theory.’
Few were able to suggest that COVID-19 could have stemmed from a research facility without backlash but that didn’t stop some media, including the Daily Mail, from questioning the narrative.
Fox News’ Tucker Carlson was also clear in demanding an investigation into whether it could have escaped from the lab.
Finally, in the past few months, came the first signs that opinion was beginning to change.
In January, a World Health Organization (WHO) report only served to raise more questions after Beijing strictly controlled an on-site visit and who the researchers compiling the report spoke to. The WHO team was only allowed three hours inside the Wuhan lab and was unable to examine any of the Wuhan institute’s safety logs or records of testing on its staff.
China’s actions led to Biden’s White House calling for greater transparency.
Even Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO, said that the visit was inconclusive, adding that ‘all hypotheses are open’ and warranted future study.
By May 11, the leading public health expert in the United States, Dr Anthony Fauci, had accepted that the idea of the virus escaping from a lab had been too quickly dismissed.
Asked whether the virus originated naturally, Fauci replied that he wants to look closer into the matter.
‘I am not convinced about that,’ he said. ‘I think we should continue to investigate what went on in China until we continue to find out to the best of our ability what happened.
‘Certainly, the people who investigated it say it likely was the emergence from an animal reservoir that then infected individuals, but it could have been something else, and we need to find that out. So, you know, that’s the reason why I said I’m perfectly in favor of any investigation that looks into the origin of the virus.’
Fauci’s revelation came as a shock to many on the left who have accepted China’s narrative that coronavirus spread from a wet market since the virus first emerged.
Of course, China continues to insist that COVID-19 did not originate in the Wuhan lab.
‘The U.S. keeps concocting inconsistent claims and clamoring to investigate labs in Wuhan,’ China’s foreign ministry said in a written statement on May 24. This fully shows that some people in the U.S. don’t care about facts and truth.’
On May 1, 2020, CNN reported that Trump had ‘contradicted’ the intel community by claiming to have seen evidence the virus came from a lab.
‘President Donald Trump contradicted a rare on-the-record statement from his own intelligence community by claiming Thursday that he has seen evidence that gives him a “high degree of confidence” the novel coronavirus originated in a laboratory in Wuhan, China, but declined to provide details to back up his assertion.
‘The comments undercut a public statement from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence issued just hours earlier which stated no such assessment has been made and continues to “rigorously examine” whether the outbreak “began through contact with infected animals or if it was the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan.”
“Yes, I have,” Trump said when asked whether he’s seen evidence that would suggest the virus originated in the lab. Later, asked why he was confident in that assessment, Trump demurred.
“I can’t tell you that. I’m not allowed to tell you that,” the report read.
Then on May 5, 2020, their editor-at-large Chris Cillizza wrote a scathing attack on the suggestion, entitled: Anthony Fauci just crushed Donald Trump’s theory on the origins of the coronavirus.
MAY 1 2020: On May 1, 2020, CNN reported that Trump had ‘contradicted’ the intel community by claiming to have seen evidence the virus came from a lab. They pointed to how rare it was for the intelligence community to make a statement
MAY 5 2020: Chris Cillizza wrote an opinion piece saying Fauci had ‘crushed Trump’s theory’ about the origins of the virus
OCTOBER 2020: CNN published another report about how the theory came from a ‘shoddy’ paper that was backed by Bannon. It claimed there was no proof whatsoever behind the theory
Daily Mail has been asking if the virus stemmed from a Wuhan lab since April 2020
The Daily Mail has consistently questioned the consensus that COVID-19 was transmitted from humans to animals.
Our reporters have dug into the details and challenged the assumptions about how the pandemic originated.
APRIL 4, 2020:
Did coronavirus leak from a research lab in Wuhan? Startling new theory is ‘no longer being discounted’ amid claims staff ‘got infected after being sprayed with blood’
Ministers fear that the coronavirus pandemic might have been caused by a leak from a Chinese laboratory, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
Senior Government sources say that while ‘the balance of scientific advice’ is still that the deadly virus was first transmitted to humans from a live animal market in Wuhan, a leak from a laboratory in the Chinese city is ‘no longer being discounted’.
One member of Cobra, the emergency committee led by Boris Johnson, said last night that while the latest intelligence did not dispute the virus was ‘zoonotic’ – originating in animals – it did not rule out that the virus first spread to humans after leaking from a Wuhan laboratory.
APRIL 15, 2020:
Mike Pompeo demands truth from Beijing as US investigates if COVID-19 escaped from Wuhan lab during experiments and China covered it up by blaming ‘wet’ food markets
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has demanded that China ‘come clean’ following reports that coronavirus originated in a Chinese laboratory, not as a bioweapon, but as part of bungling experiments to prove that Chinese scientists were superior to Americans in identifying emerging virus threats.
It comes after President Donald Trump said on Wednesday the U.S. is trying to determine whether the coronavirus first crossed to humans accidentally during experiments with bats at the Wuhan Institute of Virology Lab.
After word of the outbreak finally became public, Chinese leaders were quick to blame Wuhan’s ‘wet market’ where wild animals — though not bats — are sold for consumption, leading one source to tell Fox News the debacle is the ‘costliest government coverup of all time.’
MAY 2, 2020:
Wuhan virus lab ‘cover-up’: Startling photos of scientists wearing little protection as they handle deadly bat samples vanish from website of Chinese institute at the centre of global suspicion over pandemic
Pictures which appear to show slack safety standards at the Chinese laboratory at the centre of international suspicion over Covid-19 have been systematically deleted from its website – as Donald Trump continues to ramp up the pressure on Beijing over its potential role in the outbreak.
During the past month, Wuhan’s Institute of Virology has removed photographs of scientists working in its laboratories and edited out references to visits by US diplomats who subsequently raised the alarm about the laboratory’s work on bats.
US President Donald Trump announced on Thursday that he had seen intelligence that gave him a ‘high degree of confidence’ that the global crisis had its origins in the institute – a month after The Mail on Sunday first revealed that British Cabinet Ministers had received classified briefings raising the possibility of a leak from the institute.
Downing Street did not take issue with President Trump’s remarks. ‘There are clearly questions that need to be answered about the origin and spread of the virus,’ a spokesman for Boris Johnson said.
MAY 30, 2020:
Beijing now admits that coronavirus DIDN’T start in Wuhan’s market… so where DID it come from
China has become used to public confessions on television. But this time the words came from one of the nation’s top officials and had seismic global implications.
‘At first, we assumed the seafood market might have the virus, but now the market is more like a victim,’ said Gao Fu, director of the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.
Gao’s initial analysis had made sense after previous outbreaks of zoonotic viruses (diseases that jump from animals to humans). Yet suspicion grew over the Chinese government’s failure to share data from animals sampled in the market following its early cover-ups.
JANUARY 2, 2021:
China lab leak is the ‘most credible’ source of the coronavirus outbreak, says top US government official, amid bombshell claims Wuhan scientist has turned whistleblower
One of America’s most senior government officials says the most ‘credible’ theory about the origin of coronavirus is that it escaped from a laboratory in China.
Matthew Pottinger, who is President Donald Trump’s respected Deputy National Security Adviser, told politicians from around the world that even China’s leaders now openly admit their previous claims that the virus originated in a Wuhan market are false.
Mr Pottinger said that the latest intelligence points to the virus leaking from the top-secret Wuhan Institute of Virology, 11 miles from the market, saying: ‘There is a growing body of evidence that the lab is likely the most credible source of the virus.’
JANUARY 9, 2021:
New cover-up fears as Chinese officials delete critical data about the Wuhan lab with details of 300 studies vanishing – including all those carried out by virologist dubbed Batwoman
The Chinese government is facing fresh accusations of a cover-up after officials deleted crucial online data about the laboratory suspected of being the source of Covid-19.
The Mail on Sunday can reveal that hundreds of pages of information relating to studies carried out by the top-secret Wuhan Institute of Virology have been wiped.
Details of more than 300 studies, including many investigating diseases that pass from animals to humans, published online by the state-run National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) are no longer available.
APRIL 24, 2021:
Worrying new clues about the origins of Covid: How scientists at Wuhan lab helped Chinese army in secret project to find animal viruses
Scientists studying bat diseases at China’s maximum-security laboratory in Wuhan were engaged in a massive project to investigate animal viruses alongside leading military officials – despite their denials of any such links.
Documents obtained by The Mail on Sunday reveal that a nationwide scheme, directed by a leading state body, was launched nine years ago to discover new viruses and detect the ‘dark matter’ of biology involved in spreading diseases.