Don’t hold your breath waiting for Congress to investigate gain-of-function research that could lead back to the U.S.’s bioweapons research. From Bill King at realclearwire.com
I fear that the investigations Republicans have promised in the House next year will be little more than another round of toxic partisan gamesmanship. But there is one investigation Congress should undertake, and that is into so-called “gain-of-function” research.
Before the pandemic, I suspect that most of you, like me, had never heard of gain-of-function research. What we learned during the pandemic is that scientists around the world routinely tinker with the genome of viruses to see how the induced changes will affect replication of the virus (contagiousness) and the effects it has on its host (lethality). Such research has apparently been going on for decades and is routinely funded by governments, including ours.
Within weeks of the COVID-19 virus emerging in China near the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), many began to question whether the virus had been created by gain-of-function research and somehow escaped from WIV’s labs. Recently analyzed Chinese documents from early in the pandemic seem to suggest the virus might have come from WIV. To many, the proposition that the novel coronavirus just happened to naturally occur a few hundred yards from the WIV facility seemed too much of a coincidence.
But in February 2020, barely three months after the virus’s genome had been sequenced, 27 scientists signed a statement in the medical journal The Lancet, unequivocally declaring that the virus had occurred naturally and that any suggestion to the contrary was quackery and a conspiracy theory. Their statement quickly became the accepted orthodoxy for much of the world’s scientific community and virtually all the mainstream media.