The Senate chamber roared with cheers on Tuesday after it decided to unanimously pass an amendment that was first introduced Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky to ban U.S. taxpayer funding for gain-of-function research in China.
Senate Amendment 2003 was added on to the bipartisan Endless Frontier Act, officially places a ban on the National Institutes of Health and any other government agencies from being able to provide funding for any Chinese gain-of-functioning research.
For those who aren’t sure what that is, it’s a form of study that tries to increase the lethality and infectiousness of pathogens. Scary, right? Absolutely chilling when you think about it. Sure, there might be a medical reason for that, but it’s still freaky.
Paul’s amendment joined another introduced by Sens. Joni Ernst (R-IA), Roger Marshall (R-KS), and Ron Johnson (R-WI) that permanently prohibits U.S. funding for the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
“We may never know whether the pandemic arose from the lab in Wuhan, but we do know that so far no intermediate animal host has been discovered,” Paul stated while delivering a speech on the Senate floor. “Thousands of animals at the wet market have been looked at, none of them have carried COVID-19. We’ve tried to infect COVID-19 into bats, it doesn’t grow well in bats. It seems most adapted and suitable for humans.”
“We may not know whether this rose out of a Wuhan lab, but I think gain-of-function research — where we take a deadly virus, sometimes much more deadly than COVID, and then we increase its transmissibility to mammals — is wrong. In 2014, NIH stopped all of this research. I’m using the same definition to say any gain-of-function research should not be funded in China with U.S. taxpayer dollars, and I recommend a yes vote,” Paul went on to say.
SENATE: The Senate chamber erupts into cheers after an amendment proposed by @RandPaul that bans US funding of gain-of-function research in China is passed by unanimous voice vote pic.twitter.com/8fQ6hAWpuW
— Forbes (@Forbes) May 25, 2021