Saturday, January 28, 2023

The media ignored a very fateful event in the waning days of the Obama administration

The media ignored a very fateful event in the waning days of the Obama administration
"...less than two weeks prior to former President Donald Trump’s inauguration, the Obama administration chose to give the “green light” to lift the moratorium on federal funding for gain-of-function (GOF) research, or research intended to increase the lethality or the transmissibility of a pathogen.
...Obama appeared throughout his presidency (at least publicly) to be leery of the risks associated with GOF research...
And in October 2014, his administration announced a pause on all funding of GOF research, during which they would conduct an assessment of its “potential risks and benefits.”...
This stunning announcement received little or no press coverage
By that time, the media’s obsession with taking down Trump and painting him as an agent of Russia was dominating the news cycle.
  • The NIH’s decision to start funding GOF research again suddenly should have set off national alarms, especially since it ran counter to warnings from the scientific community. In a November 2015 report on GOF published in the science journal Nature, scientists concluded that “building chimeric viruses based on circulating strains [is] too risky to pursue, as increased pathogenicity in mammalian models cannot be excluded.”
  • The recommendation to end the moratorium also flew in the face of what Obama’s Homeland Security adviser, Lisa Monaco , considered “one of the gravest risks for the new administration”: the emergence of an “infectious disease.” 
  • The President’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology similarly sent a letter to Obama just days after Trump’s victory warning him of the very real threat of biological attack. The 16-page letter explicitly warned that the “modification of pathogens to overcome existing immunity or to be resistant to available drugs.” In other words, GOF posed a serious threat to national security...

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