During an interview aired on Thursday’s edition of Peacock TV channel The Choice’s “Mehdi Hasan Show,” White House Chief Medical Adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci responded to reporting from The Intercept on whether the NIH funded gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology by stating that the reporting “is completely misleading.” Because gain of function is “a completely meaningless term unless you put it into context.”

Fauci said, “Well, The Intercept reporting is completely misleading. Because gain of function, Mehdi, is a completely meaningless term unless you put it into context. And what has happened is that, years ago, we paused all function on manipulating viruses, which is an absolutely essential part of virology, in order to get certain guard rules and guidelines about what constitutes research that, in fact, might be dangerous and need special oversight. That took three years of deliberation to set guardrails and guidelines and to get rid of the ambiguous and misleading term of gain of function so that you could proceed with experiments if they fall within those guidelines. The NIH funded studies, which were highly, highly peer-reviewed and felt to be very important to understand what the risk is. … The fact is, that was done under very strict guidelines. Then, all of a sudden, somebody comes in and says, I don’t like your guidelines, even though it took three years from the National Academy of Sciences, the NSABB, the Office of Science and Technology Policy at the White House to come up with these strict guardrails, which were followed very carefully. Then, someone comes along and says, you know, I don’t like that definition and according to my definition, you did ‘gain of function.'”



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