The Five Questions Everyone Needs to Be Asking Dr. Fauci About Gain-of-Function Research

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Over the last several weeks, a lot of information has been written about Dr. Fauci, the NIH, and the Wuhan Institute of Virology.  The information that was written on it is public record, oftentimes found on the NIH’s own website.  Yet despite this information being public, Dr. Fauci has insisted on denying that the US-funded any gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.  As we covered last week,  the NIH awarded grants to two people/organizations: Dr. Ralph Baric and the EcoHealth Alliance, both of which either directly paid for or shared NIH-funded research of SARS viruses with Dr. Shi Zhengli and the Wuhan Institute of Virology.  There can be no more debate about this.  It absolutely, unequivocally happened. Why Dr. Fauci was so adamant about his denials was puzzling.

Yet, although it took a bunch of rag-tag journalists from various conservative publications to uncover this growing scandal, there are still questions as to the motivations behind the 80-year-old Fauci’s outright misleading statements.  Since to this point, it has been on those conservative journalists to point this out, I decided to again to the job of the MSM and detail out five questions that need to immediately be asked of Dr. Fauci.

1)  Has the NIH or the NIAID ever funded gain-of-function research? If so, where?

During the hearing last Tuesday, Dr. Fauci was adamant that Dr. Ralph Baric did not conduct gain-of-function research, and “if” he did, it was within the guidelines specified by the HHS.  His language, as Senator Paul has pointed out, is very telling.  It is filled with semantic nuances that give Fauci plausible deniability.  As pointed out last week, there is no doubt that the NIH funded gain-of-function research at, or that the NIH funded gain-of-function research was shared with, the Wuhan Institute of Virology.  Statements to the contrary do not match the public record.

Additionally, the research conducted by Dr. Baric at the University of North Carolina was indisputably gain-of-function, as he himself described it like that in 2015, just a year after the NIH awarded him to conduct that research.

2) Were you aware of Dr. Baric’s gain-of-function research and did you know they created a new strain of SARS in 2015?

Despite Dr. Fauci’s insistence that Dr. Ralph Baric did not conduct gain-of-function research, the evidence shows, as well as do Dr. Baric’s own admissions, that he was indeed conducting gain-of-function research. Not only that, but his gain of function research was NIH funded and was used to create, in collaboration with Dr. Shi Zhengli of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a new strain of SARS.  This SARS virus, commonly called “SARS 2.0” and which went by its viral name, SCH014-MA15, was then tested in mice alongside SARS-CoV, the original SARS virus.  Researchers were interested to note that the new virus replicated at just as high of a rate as SARS-CoV, however was not as virulent (a virus’s ability to cause damage to its host) as its predecessor.  The creation of this modified virus actually triggered a ban on viral gain-of-function research due to the ethical concerns with experimenting with viral strains.  The potential existed that they could inadvertently create a virus that would get loose and create a pandemic.

3) Were you ever concerned that our own gain-of-function research was being shared with foreign countries?

During Dr. Fauci’s Testimony with Senator Rand Paul, Fauci was insistent that the US did not fund gain-of-function research in China.  Since we have already covered that he either lied or isn’t informed of the funding he approved, we can also confirm that this research was shared by Dr. Ralph Baric, with Dr. Shi Zhengli of the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (A Chinese Government Entity).  Dr. Baric and Dr. Shi were co-authors on numerous studies regarding gain-of-function research, and those studies specifically covered strains of SARS and making those strains more deadly, transmissible, and dangerous.  Additionally, Fauci’s NIAID funded gain-of-function research at the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Yoshihiro Kawaoka proposed new experiments with gain-of-function research in 2017 after a pause in research was lifted.  Dr. Kawaoka also researches at the University of Tokyo.  Dr. Ron Fouchier of Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, also received funding to conduct gain-of-function research from the NIAID.

From Sciencemag.org:

In 2011, Fouchier and Kawaoka alarmed the world by revealing they had separately modified the deadly avian H5N1 influenza virus so that it spread between ferrets. Advocates of such gain of function (GOF) studies say they can help public health experts better understand how viruses might spread and plan for pandemics. But by enabling the bird virus to more easily spread among mammals, the experiments also raised fears that the pathogen could jump to humans. And critics of the work worried that such a souped-up virus could spark a pandemic if it escaped from a lab or was intentionally released by a bioterrorist.

4) Why, after gain-of-function research was paused in the United States, did you authorize the continuation of the paused research without consulting with the White House?

In October 2014, after several lab studies produced deadly viruses with the potential of creating a worldwide pandemic, the White House ordered a pause in gain-of-function research until which time the HHS could come up with appropriate guidelines under which the research could continue.  Despite the pause, the NIH and NIAID instructed labs already conducting NIH-funded research to continue.  Many different explanations exist for this, from the research being a matter of public health, to the fact that it was “grandfathered in” because it had been authorized before the pause.  Either way, the White House still requested Baric discontinue his research until a time when the guidelines could be determined.  For whatever reason, Baric did not comply.

Yet, that research was conducted under Fauci’s supervision, as it was the NIH and NIAID who funded the research.  Why would Dr. Fauci allow for research to continue against the directive of the White House and the HHS?

5) If gain-of-function research was necessary to create the treatments for SARS, MERS, and influenza viruses, how much did that research help in treating COVID-19 and protecting against SARS-CoV-2?

Throughout all of the studies, articles, and interviews detailing the reasoning behind the NIH funding gain-of-function research, the goal was to help us to better understand these viruses to be able to develop treatments and vaccines.  Yet, when the pandemic started, and governments across the world were panicking, there wasn’t a word of, “Hey! This is exactly what we’ve been preparing for!”

When the SARS-CoV-2 virus began infecting people in the Wuhan area in October-December 2019, not a single virologist suggested that this was easily dealt with due to the wealth of knowledge available to us as a result of all the millions of dollars of research that was done into this exact virus.  Our old friend, Dr. Ralph Baric, was instrumental in developing the antiviral drug Remdesivir, which President Trump credited with saving his life and shortening the severity of his COVID-19 infection.  The drug was developed by Gilead, who used Baric’s lab as a means of testing the drug’s effectiveness.  Yet, many still question its effectiveness.

Additionally, when it came time for a vaccine, the research was again, was not helpful.  It took actions like Operation Lightspeed to give drug manufacturers the edge needed to complete the task in a short period of time.  It wasn’t like they came out saying that a vaccine was already in the works and that it just needed slight alterations and FDA approval.  Essentially, they had to create the vaccines from scratch.  What did help was mRNA treatment research, which allowed companies like Pfizer and Moderna to simply train their viral vaccines to produce proteins associated with SARS-CoV-2.

If the research didn’t provide the result that it intended to, rather it actually likely created the problem which we are dealing with, why would we continue to do it?  Despite warnings, the research continued and likely did the very thing of which many scientists were afraid.  That research was supported, funded, and encouraged by Dr. Anthony Fauci.  I am sure Dr. Fauci has some virtue signaling, condescending, gaslighting answer to give us.