09/13/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/13/2021 14:53
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) joined Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA) and Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) in introducing bipartisan legislation that would put a five-year freeze on taxpayer funding for gain-of-function research. The group introduced the legislation following a report by The Intercept, which indicated the U.S. had funded gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) that may have led to the ongoing pandemic.
'Thanks to documents published by The Intercept, we now know the National Institutes of Health funded gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Overwhelming evidence suggests that this very research may have caused a deadly pandemic that upended the world. While we continue to investigate the origins of COVID-19, the U.S. should - at a minimum - halt all funding for this dangerous research until we understand the role it played in this pandemic. I'm proud to support Rep. Carter's legislation that does just that,' said Rep. Gallagher.
'This is something we never should have allowed without proper oversight and safety protocols,' said Rep. Carter. 'We knew the dangers of gain-of-function research, but the National Institute of Health and Dr. Fauci continued to fund it in America and overseas. Evidence continues to mount that COVID-19 originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology with research funded by U.S. taxpayers. We must double down on our efforts to prevent irresponsible research and protect our communities from future pandemics. Our bill will prevent taxpayer funds from being used to conduct gain-of-function research until we can ensure proper safety standards are put in place.'
'The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our economic, educational, and public health well-being. As one of the wealthiest and most powerful countries in the world, the United States needs to prepare and invest in measures that help to prevent any future pandemics,' Rep. Cuellar said. 'Gain-of-function research has been directly linked to the spark of the coronavirus pandemic. The Pausing Enhanced Pandemic Pathogen Research Act is the best path forward to ensure that we avoid U.S. taxpayer funds from falling into the wrong hands. I look forward to working closely with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure that we pass responsible legislation for our futures.'