Fauci said knowledge from controversial pathogen experiments “outweighs the risk” of a possible pandemic


The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Dr. Antoine Fauci wrote in 2012 that research into pathogenic gain of function was worth the risk of a potential human-made pandemic.

In one paper As of 2012, Fauci has championed controversial gain-of-function research, claiming that the “benefits” from science “outweigh the risk” of an accidental pandemic.

“A pandemic is more likely to occur in the wild, and the need to stay ahead of such a threat is a primary reason for performing an experiment that might seem risky,” the newspaper read.

Fauci wrote that the scientific community should “respect the fact that there are genuine and legitimate concerns about this type of research,” such as a pandemic starting with less experienced and less funded scientists who are infected and spread the disease causing the disease. object of the research.

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“Those of us in the scientific community who believe in the merits of this work have a responsibility to address these concerns in a thoughtful and respectful manner,” wrote the director of NIAID.

Fauci did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

Gain-of-function research involves altering the genetics of a pathogen or organism – such as a bacteria – to increase its transmissibility, pathogenic properties, and the type of organisms that the pathogen can infect.

Controversial research is used to stay ahead of potential new diseases and to develop new treatments and vaccines, but carries the risk of epidemics if not conducted safely.

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On Tuesday, the director of NIAID defended the “modest” collaboration between the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) and NIAID to study coronaviruses transmitted by bats, but denied that the money went to research on the function gain.

Six hundred thousand dollars from NIAID was given to a group called the EcoHealth Alliance, which in turn paid the WIV to study the risk of bat coronaviruses infecting humans.

“I almost would have been doing our duty if we hadn’t studied this, and the only way to study these things is to go where the action is,” Fauci said, referring to early SARS. 2000s epidemic, which is presumed to originate from bats.

Fox News’s Tyler Olson contributed to this report.

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