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Tipsheet

We're Finally Having a Hearing About Labs Super Charging Viruses

(Greg Nash/Pool via AP)

Republican Senator Rand Paul is holding a hearing Wednesday about dangerous gain-of-function research. The practice was banned from receiving federal funding years ago, but was resumed by Dr. Anthony Fauci's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and conducted in Chinese labs. More specifically, in Wuhan. 

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"The purpose of this hearing is to examine issues involving gain-of-function research, which attempts to enhance the severity and transmissibility of existing viruses that may infect humans or other mammals," Paul's office previewed in statement. "Gain-of-function research has historically been supported by tax dollars both domestically and internationally; as such, this hearing lies at the intersection of the subcommittee’s two primary jurisdictional responsibilities – monitoring emerging threats and conducting oversight of federal spending."

"The dangers of this research are so acute that under President Barack Obama, the National Institutes of Health suspended funding for all gain-of-function projects until a risk assessment protocol could be developed for them," they continue. "Gain-of-function research resumed in 2017, after a special committee review process was established to help manage these risks. However, serious questions remain about whether that protocol is sufficient to protect the U.S. and the world from the potential negative consequences of this research. Moreover, the debate over what gain-of-function research is and what it is not, is not settled."

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"This has been over a year-long process of getting Congressional Democrats to finally agree to a hearing, which will also be the first Congressional hearing on gain-of-function research," Paul tweeted.

The White Coast Waste Project is applauding the Senator's efforts. 

“As the first organization to expose that American taxpayer dollars funded dangerous coronavirus gain-of-function experiments on animals at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, we applaud Sen. Rand Paul’s efforts to put this treacherous research under the microscope," White Coat Waste Project Senior Vice President of Advocacy and Public Policy Justin Goodman released in a statement. "A majority of taxpayers —Republicans and Democrats alike—oppose wasting money on gain-of-function animal experiments and believe that the pandemic started with a lab leak, and we shouldn’t be forced to pay white coats in Wuhan or anywhere else to torture animals in wasteful virus experiments that place global health in peril. To stop the next pandemic, the solution is clear: Stop the money. Stop the madness."

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