Gain-of-function research is medical research that genetically alters an organism, such as a virus, so as to discover how it might change its biological functions. This may include creating a new type of the disease, and how its transmissibility might alter, or the things like the types of hosts it can infect (think animal to human). This research is intended to reveal targets to better predict emerging infectious diseases and to develop vaccines and therapeutics to counter these.
The problem is that gain if function is also a way of developing viruses, bacteria, etc. into bioweapons. Or viruses so dangerous that if they escaped the lab they would kill millions of people.
The statistical odds of correctly predicting which variant will be created are huge. (Think flu vaccine – some years it correctly predicts which variant it will be up against and in others it doesn’t.)
This Bill would have stopped taxpayer funding in enemy countries, but not friendly ones, nor the USA, from funding this dangerous research until Thomas Massie (R-KY) added an Amendment which last night past in the House.
Whether it can pass the Senate remains to be seen – there’s a lot of Pharma money in play there. And worldwide infections make them very rich.
My amendment to end gain-of-function research funding passed tonight! It’s insane to use taxpayer dollars to create a blueprint for the next pandemic. pic.twitter.com/3eWPvgZANY— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) November 15, 2023