Wisconsin Representative Mike Gallagher (R-WI-08) introduced a bill that would limit gain-of-function research for five years by pausing taxpayer funding. Gallagher, Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA-01) and Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX-28) introduced bipartisan legislation that would “put a five-year freeze on taxpayer funding for gain-of-function research.”
— Rep. Gallagher Press Office (@RepGallagher) September 14, 2021
Gallagher explained the basis of the bill was the gain-of-function research that occurred at the Wuhan Institute of Virology that may have caused the COVID pandemic.
Gallagher said, “Thanks to documents published by The Intercept, we now know the National Institutes of Health funded gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Overwhelming evidence suggests that this very research may have caused a deadly pandemic that upended the world.”
He added, “While we continue to investigate the origins of COVID-19, the U.S. should – at a minimum – halt all funding for this dangerous research until we understand the role it played in this pandemic. I’m proud to support Rep. Carter’s legislation that does just that.”
Carter said, “This is something we never should have allowed without proper oversight and safety protocols.” He said that the dangers of gain-of-function research are well known, “We knew the dangers of gain-of-function research, but the National Institute of Health and Dr. Fauci continued to fund it in America and overseas.”
Carter continued, “Evidence continues to mount that COVID-19 originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology with research funded by U.S. taxpayers. We must double down on our efforts to prevent irresponsible research and protect our communities from future pandemics. Our bill will prevent taxpayer funds from being used to conduct gain-of-function research until we can ensure proper safety standards are put in place.”
Cuellar said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our economic, educational, and public health well-being. As one of the wealthiest and most powerful countries in the world, the United States needs to prepare and invest in measures that help to prevent any future pandemics.”
He continued, “Gain-of-function research has been directly linked to the spark of the coronavirus pandemic. The Pausing Enhanced Pandemic Pathogen Research Act is the best path forward to ensure that we avoid U.S. taxpayer funds from falling into the wrong hands. I look forward to working closely with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure that we pass responsible legislation for our futures.”
As reported by The Wisconsin Daily Star, Gallagher called on Fauci to resign after “a document was released revealing that Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) grant approval for high-risk experiments overseas does not line up with the agency director’s repeated denials under oath saying that the NIAID had not funded “gain-of-function” research in Wuhan.”
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Hayley Tschetter is a reporter with The Minnesota Sun and The Wisconsin Daily Star | Star News Network. Follow Hayley on Twitter or like her Facebook page. Send news tips to [email protected].
Background Photo “Wuhan Institute of Virology” by Ureem2805 CC BY-SA 4.0.