Never Forget: Obama Issued a “Pause” on Funding for Gain-of-Function, Asked for “Voluntary Pause” on Research…

In this interview, Dr. Huff revealed that he had first-hand knowledge of the proposal that was initially created to secure the gain-of-function research funds.  This money was then passed through EcoHealth Alliance to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.  But why was it off-shored in the first place?

As Dr. Huff mentioned, there was quite a bit of concern about “gain-of-function” and the later mislabel of “dual use” research and whether or not it was worth the risk.  In a document from the Obama administration from around the time Dr. Huff is referencing, we can see that the United States did in fact “pause” gain-of-function research funding while they explored the risk to reward.  But any “pauses” in actual gain-of-function research were completely at the discretion of the laboratories themselves.

“Because the deliberative process launching today will aim to address key questions about the risks and benefits of gain-of-function studies, during the period of deliberation, the U.S. Government will institute a pause on funding for any new studies that include certain gain-of-function experiments involving influenza, SARS, and MERS viruses…

During this pause, the U.S. Government will not fund any new projects involving these experiments and encourages those currently conducting this type of work – whether federally funded or not – to voluntarily pause their research while risks and benefits are being reassessed. The funding pause will not apply to the characterization or testing of naturally occurring influenza, MERS, and SARS viruses unless there is a reasonable expectation that these tests would increase transmissibility or pathogenicity.” 

The Obama Administration did in fact “pause” funding, but they did not require laboratories to stop gain-of-function research, only “voluntarily pause” it if they would be so kind.  While I do firmly believe that the federal government should be far more “hands-off”, it would be absurd to think that this was the starting point for the Obama administration to adopt more “libertarian” ideals.

Where was this same constraint of government authoritarianism to “voluntarily” do something when citizens were forced to close their businesses or take an experimental vaccine in order to work?

This moratorium was lifted in December of 2017 but during the “pause,” 10 of the 21 labs impacted by the “pause” were discovered to have been given “waivers” to continue their research during the moratorium, as reported by the Washington Post.

In that same article, the Washington Post quotes Andrew C. Weber, the former assistant secretary of defense for nuclear, chemical and biological defense programs during the Obama administration, as saying

“it is difficult to imagine any research proposal that would meet these sensible criteria….The risks to the public of deliberately enhancing pandemic pathogens are too grave to justify the modest potential benefits.”

So they shipped it off to Wuhan.

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