Recently resurfaced remarks penned in 2012 show that Dr. Anthony Fauci argued in favor of experimentation and gain-of-function research in 2012, and indicated that the need for such “important work” would “outweigh the risks” of a pandemic potentially started at a laboratory during the research.
Many experts now believe there is strong evidence the COVID-19 pandemic was started by a leak at a lab in Wuhan, which received gain-of-function research from Fauci’s government agency. Fauci initially denied that such funding was authorized.
Reporting by The Weekend Australian found that Fauci wrote statements supporting gain-of-function research in the American Society for Microbiology in October 2012, despite acknowledging that such research could inadvertently create a pandemic.
“In an unlikely but conceivable turn of events, what if that scientist becomes infected with the virus, which leads to an outbreak and ultimately triggers a pandemic?” Fauci wrote. “Many ask reasonable questions: given the possibility of such a scenario – however remote – should the initial experiments have been performed and/or published in the first place, and what were the processes involved in this decision?”
Fauci continued, “Scientists working in this field might say – as indeed I have said – that the benefits of such experiments and the resulting knowledge outweigh the risks. He also argued that “It is more likely that a pandemic would occur in nature, and the need to stay ahead of such a threat is a primary reason for performing an experiment that might appear to be risky.”
“We cannot expect those who have these concerns to simply take us, the scientific community, at our word that the benefits of this work outweigh the risks, nor can we ignore their calls for greater transparency, their concerns about conflicts of interest, and their efforts to engage in a dialogue about whether these experiments should have been performed in the first place,” Fauci added.
The Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases also did not inform the Trump administration to his plans to lift the ban on gain-of-function research funding in 2017.