Story at-a-glance:

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), has long supported controversial gain-of-function (GOF) research, which you can hear him speak about at a hearing before the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs at the U.S. Senate, held April 26, 2012.
  • GOF research refers to studies that have the potential to enhance the ability of pathogens to cause disease, including enhancing either their pathogenicity or transmissibility — GOF is a type of dual use research.
  • Fauci speaks favorably of dual use research of concern, or DURC, stating, “the risk-benefit ratio of such research clearly tips towards benefiting society.”
  • Due to its controversial nature and potential to fuel bioweapons, several moratoriums have been placed on GOF research, including one in October 2014, after a string of high-profile “incidents” at U.S. biocontainment laboratories.
  • NIAID has funded GOF research on bat coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), but Fauci — amid growing calls that COVID-19 was the result of a laboratory accident — has denied that such funding occurred.

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