Should Dr. Fauci be jailed?

The documents clearly state that ‘gain-of-function’ research was funded, which Dr. Fauci denied under oath.

One may disagree with the law, but still consider that whether or not he will be ever charged for his ‘crime’ is more a matter of politics than the law.

What should concern us is that now that it looking considerably more likely that the lab leak hypothesis is more plausible than some tenuous wet market scenario, we should look very unfavourably on the push for funding to secure more research into gain-of-function, using the pretext of the pandemic. When the very thing one is advocating is more likely than not to be root cause of the very problem one is claiming one wants to solve, then alarm bells should be ringing, resoundingly.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41390-020-1006-3

Of course the quiet part is never said out loud, exactly what type of research will people be advocating for? And will there be attempts to redefine and limit what gain-of-function actually means?

11 Likes

Can someone bring me up to speed as to why on God’s Green Earth the Americans would fund Chinese virology research? Isn’t that a bit like America funding Kim’s nuclear program?

1 Like

As I have understood the rationale for gain of function research, it would seem to be particularly useful at a time like this, in anticipating the potential capabilities of future variants.

The question in that case would be - is is possible to do such research in an actually secure way? And how big is the likely payoff? If these concerns can be met, such research might be valuable - knowing that if the virus naturally has a given potential mutation, that new variant could have certain properties, might be useful in preparation.

  1. I have no qualification to opine on the likelihood that such research could anticipate actual variants; I would expect that the genomic search space is pretty large, and I don’t know how efficiently the gain of function research explores that space. So the possible benefit might be minimal, or not.
    Also, given how hard it has been to establish the infectivity of given variants (eg: the differing estimates of the R0 value of the UK variant over time, even given massive numbers of infections to track), I wonder how much we could tell about the actual real world differences of lab created variants, without first infecting millions of people. If we could gain reliable results from lab simulations, we’d have been able to know the risk of each variant as soon as it’s code was discovered.

  2. In any case, it would seem that supporting such research in an insecure lab is a terrible idea, whether or not this pandemic escaped such a lab. This appears to be a matter of trying to continue such research in a different country after it had become problematic in the US, indeed had been banned (that ban might have expired by some accounts, but even so the leaders knew that doing it in the US would raise such concerns). That kind of behavior (trying to bypass safety concerns by using a foreign lab with lower standards) for dangerous research appears to be, at least without obtaining further nuance, rather alarming.

3 Likes

Here’s Miranda Devine’s speculations in the New York Post on the “why” of the matter. Not surprisingly the so called intelligence community and US Department of Defense may well be involved since Devine asserts DoD has given Daszak’s EcoHealth $40 million over the past few years.

Never forget, the US has lost political control of its bureaucracy and the appointed and particularly the career bureaucracy have effectively become the government of the US. This began more than a generation ago and has advanced to point where it can be easily be argued that executive branch has slipped its constitutional bounds and so the US is in a political state of nature.

4 Likes

Nuts, that’s convincing. I’ll take a rearguard view of it and trust that Fauci has no ill intentions but it does appear that he’s not been forthcoming. So the American military pays China to develop more lethal viruses. Right, that’s the way the world turns.

2 Likes

BTW, Claire, why do all our avatars still have the ‘Q’ pasted to them when you now hafta be a paid subscriber? It’s redundant, no? And it ruins my neck-line.

4 Likes

lol. The puppy popped

They were attempting to circumvent bans on the use of gain-of-function research…

Sure, scientists hate having their research curtailed. Still it does seem very strange to outsource this … come to think of it, outsourcing to China is anything but strange. Perhaps one day the US military will outsource all their weapons development to China too. Save money.