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EXCLUSIVE DC: Internal Videos Reveal NIH Plan To Keep Money Flowing To Risky Research In Wuhan

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n internal National Institutes of Health (NIH) presentation from June reveals that the agency flagged legislative amendments aimed at defunding gain-of-function research as “amendments to watch” and argued that they were based on “conspiracy theories.”

The Director’s Report presentation, given June 9 at the 124th Advisory Committee to the Director Meeting and unearthed by taxpayer watchdog group White Coat Waste Project, identifies four amendments to the America Competes Act of 2022 as “amendments to watch.” All four amendments were introduced by Republican lawmakers and attempt to rein in funding for gain-of-function research in adversarial countries and work at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

“A lot of these have to do with policymakers reacting to many of the controversies, many of the conspiracy theories that swirled during the pandemic,” Adrienne Hallett, NIH Associate Director for Legislative Policy and Analysis, said during the meeting while speaking about the amendments. “There’s a lot of conversation about enhanced pathogens … there’s a lot of conversation about international research, possible restrictions on different kinds of research.”

“There are a lot of permutations of this language that are out there and moving. We’re watching all of it, but I want you to be aware of it,” she continued. “If we get out of this calendar year without some kind of policy being made, next year I think this will come back.”

The NIH has funded, either directly or indirectly, gain-of-function research in the U.S. and abroad dating back a number of years. There was a pause in that funding in place between 2014 and 2017 which was lifted during the Trump administration. In this context, gain-of-function research refers to scientific experimentation that makes pathogens more infectious, more deadly, or both.

 

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