Senate Democrats block bills to halt gain-of-function research

"This is a national security issue," said the Republican author of the bills.

Dr. Anthony Fauci gives a thumbs-up after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine in December 2020. (NIAID/Flickr)

(American Greatness) — On Thursday, Democrats in the United States Senate blocked attempts to offer unanimous consent on two different bills aimed at stopping gain-of-function research funding by the federal government, as the process is now suspected to have played a key role in the origins and spread of COVID-19.

Just The News reports that the two bills, the Viral Gain of Function Research Moratorium Act and the SAFE Risk Research Act, were both introduced by Sen. Roger Marshall. The bills would cut funding to universities conducting such research, as well as foreign countries engaging in such experiments.

Gain-of-function involves research where scientists deliberately make genetic modifications to a pre-existing virus, ostensibly to search for positive genetic breakthroughs in the newly-mutated virus; however, the risk is also high that such new viruses can be even deadlier to humans than previously-known viruses.

Recent intelligence revelations have increasingly pointed to the likelihood that such research was the cause of COVID-19’s creation and subsequent spread, most likely out of the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) in Wuhan, China. There has been especially intense scrutiny on the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which provided federal funding for such research to the WIV, despite Anthony Fauci’s prior claims that the NIH had never done so.

“It is disturbing that one of our top public health agencies directed this risky research to be offshored while encouraging the pause in that exact same research in the U.S.,” Marshall said on the Senate floor on Thursday. “Despite warnings and past lab accidents, our public health agencies like NIH continue to fund the WMD research, often in China nonetheless.”

“Shockingly, Congress has minimal insight into the amount of this research at NIH,” Marshall continued. “There is no transparency into their risk evaluation process.”

Marshall had first introduced the Viral Gain of Function Research Moratorium Act last year, only now having the opportunity to bring it before the Senate for possible passage by unanimous consent. But enough Senate Democrats objected that now the process of passing the bill will take much longer.

“This is a national security issue,” Marshall continued. “We must pause this research until national security experts can help create appropriate risk metrics, guardrails and processes for this research.”


Eric Lendrum