House Committee Report finds former Fauci-led department concealed plans to create a mutant monkeypox virus in 2015



A recent report by the House Energy and Commerce Committee has alleged that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) misled Congress regarding its plans to create a more transmissible and lethal strain of monkeypox (Mpox) during Dr. Anthony Fauci’s tenure as head of the agency. The report, released after an 18-month investigation, suggests that the NIAID, along with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), obstructed and provided false information to the committee.

Background on the Controversial Research

In 2015, the NIAID proposed experiments to engineer a more dangerous strain of Mpox by combining genes from two different clades of the virus. This research aimed to understand how different genetic factors could increase the virus’s lethality and transmissibility, potentially aiding in the development of better treatments and vaccines. However, this proposal only gained widespread attention in late 2022, against the backdrop of ongoing concerns about the origins of COVID-19 and the role of gain-of-function (GOF) research.

Findings of the House Committee

The committee’s report claims that the NIAID and its parent agencies repeatedly asserted that these risky experiments had not been “formally proposed” or conducted, and were not under consideration. However, the report states these claims were false and that documents eventually provided under subpoena threats confirmed the experiments had been approved.

The report concludes that the NIAID cannot be trusted to oversee its own research on pathogens, citing a failure to adequately assess the biosafety risks and public health threats posed by such experiments. This has led to recommendations for establishing an independent oversight board to review NIAID-funded research on dangerous pathogens and shifting the final approval for GOF research to a different entity.

Reactions and Implications

Dr. Fauci, who recently testified regarding the origins of COVID-19, has consistently denied that his agency was involved in GOF experiments in China. The lack of transparency around the Mpox research, however, has raised questions about the reliability of statements made by the HHS, NIH, and NIAID.

Proponents of the research, including NIAID scientist Dr. Bernard Moss, argue that the experiments aimed to swap natural mutations rather than create new ones, thus not enhancing the virus’s pathogenicity. Nevertheless, experts like Dr. Richard Ebright, a microbiologist at Rutgers University, have warned that such a modified virus could pose an exceptionally high risk to the public if accidentally released.

The controversy over the NIAID’s Mpox research has also reignited broader concerns about GOF research, which involves manipulating viruses to understand their potential to cause pandemics. Critics argue that the benefits of such research do not justify the risks, especially given the fears that similar practices may have contributed to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Current Status and Future Actions

The House committee is seeking additional evidence to confirm that the risky Mpox experiments were never actually conducted, despite claims from researchers that the work was never carried out. The committee’s findings have prompted calls for greater oversight and transparency in pathogen research funded by federal agencies.

In the meantime, the global Mpox outbreak, which began in 2022, continues to be monitored. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that as of January 2024, there have been 32,000 cases in the US and 58 deaths, with a global total of 95,900 cases since the outbreak’s onset.

The ongoing scrutiny of pathogen research practices highlights the need for robust safety protocols and transparent communication between scientific agencies and legislative bodies to prevent potential public health crises.

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