For a discussion about COVID “gain of function” not steeped in politics.

https://www.latimes.com/science/story/2021-07-24/fauci-theres-no-way-the-coronavirus-was-made-with-u-s-research-funds-heres-why

Accusing Fauci of killing 4 million people is serious and deserves some perspectives in addition to the back and forth j’accuse.

25 thoughts on “For a discussion about COVID “gain of function” not steeped in politics.

    1. For what it is worth, I subscribe to an aggregator, Apple News. $9.99/month and it carries a large number of media sites from WaPo to WSJ, plus magazines left and right, and a bunch of oddities regarding outdoor sports, travel, cooking, golf, fishing, shooting, etc.

      That is where I got the LA Times article, but I have to link it to a regular site unless the recipient has Apple News.

      It includes Bloomberg, but not all articles are included.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. RE: “Accusing Fauci of killing 4 million people is serious and deserves some perspectives in addition to the back and forth j’accuse.”

    The accusation isn’t serious, but the gain-of-function question is.

    Regarding the question: Virtually all research related to a virus for which gain-of-function is intended or achieved would qualify as gain-of-function research, even if the funded activities did not in themselves produce a gain of function.

    To illustrate, before you can produce gain of function you must first select a virus, obtain samples, catalog the virus’s characteristics, and establish whether the modifications you intend are feasible. All of that and more must be done before you actually modify the virus, and all of it would qualify as gain-of-function research if gain-of-function was your ultimate intent or accomplishment.

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    1. “The accusation isn’t serious”
      Agreed. Which raises the question . . . Why would a United States Senator make a non-serious accusation against his own government? What is wrong with him?

      Your definition of “gain of function” research is far too broad. The NIH policy is very focussed on actually manipulating viruses to make them into potential weapons. As has been pointed out many times the professional staff at NIH have reviewed fake Dr. Paul’s claims many times and find them to be inaccurate.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. RE: “Why would a United States Senator make a non-serious accusation against his own government?”

        He didn’t.

        RE: “The NIH policy is very focussed on actually manipulating viruses to make them into potential weapons.”

        All the preliminary research I mentioned fulfills the NIH definition of “reasonably anticipated” to achieve gain of function for SARS viruses according to some observers.

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        1. “He didn’t.”

          Is that an opinion or a lie? It is NOT the truth because, yes he did. He accused the GOVERNMENT organization headed by Dr. Fauci of funding the developement of the Covid-19 virus and that Fauci and others would be held accountable for what they had done to cause the death of 4 million people. That is the accusation that he he made and which you say is non-serious.

          Your “preliminary research” does not change anything. Your definition is far too broad to be useful. The NIH definition of what should not be done is far more focussed.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Paul : “It’s a dance, and you’re dancing around this because you’re trying to obscure responsibility for 4 million people dying around the world from a pandemic.”

            Paul : “We don’t know that it didn’t come from the lab, but all the evidence is pointing that it came from the lab, and there will be responsibility for those who funded the lab, including yourself.”

            Liked by 2 people

    2. What’s your point?

      It sounds like you are conflating intended with unintended consequences.

      The pittance of money from NIH over 6 years or so, with non-Chinese scientists including Americans, studying zoonotic viruses from bats in a country that has had previous experience with just that issue, should be of little consequence outside of the endless conspiracy hamster wheel.

      Fauci is the enemy of the right and he was made such by the ex-president as soon as the good doc did not play games and back up political rather than epidemiological paths. That people are still using the shifting mask policies of early 2020 as evidence of malfeasance by Fauci is telling. And it is no small stretch to say that attacks on Fauci are causing more deaths than what Paul accused the doctor of causing.

      IMHANEO

      Liked by 2 people

      1. RE: “What’s your point?”

        I’m guessing, since I couldn’t access it, that your LA Times story tries to show that the NIH funding for the Wuhan lab wasn’t for gain-of-function research. My point is that it may well have been, depending on how you define gain-of-function.”

        RE: “And it is no small stretch to say that attacks on Fauci are causing more deaths than what Paul accused the doctor of causing.”

        So, proposing one conspiracy theory to disprove another?

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        1. Conspiracy? I did not say that. Besides there is no conspiracy about Paul’s reckless remarks.

          Just ignorance and stupidity coupled with political greed.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. “Mind reading?” Again? Good grief – is that all you have got?

            We do not have to read fake Dr. Paul’s mind. He speaks it quite freely. A lot of really crazy shit. He is one of the leaders of the anti-vax effort that is killing people every day.

            Liked by 1 person

        2. “To document when and how a virus might become capable of jumping to humans, it’s crucial to identify where genetic mutations arise, under what circumstances, and how they may change a virus’ behavior.

          But observing such changes and making them are two different things. The purpose of the WIV research was to investigate coronaviruses that were known to circulate in animals (but had not been seen in humans) and to explore their capacity to invade human cells. That makes it hard to say whether the altered virus’ ability to invade human cells was a function “gained” or was merely uncovered by WIV scientists.

          In addition, genetic tampering or editing will typically leave behind discernible marks. In a recent “critical review” of the origins of SARS-CoV-2, an international group of virologists notes that the virus “carries no evidence of genetic markers one might expect from laboratory experiments.”

          Again, China has been a source for previous zoonotic diseases, so research there makes sense.

          But we are in a “blame China for everything” mode. Politically it is fodder for some left and a lot of right cannons.

          Liked by 2 people

        3. RE: “But observing such changes and making them are two different things.”

          That’s true, but both must occur in true gain-of-function research.

          RE: “In addition, genetic tampering or editing will typically leave behind discernible marks.”

          That’s true, but not definitive. Gain-of-function can be determined by other evidence. Also, experts may disagree on how to interpret the genetic fingerprints.

          If your aim is to assert as “proven fact” that NIH ddin’t fund gain-of-function research in Whuan, it is way too early to answer that question. This topic is like the lab-leak theory. For the longest time experts denounced it, then, a few weeks ago, everyone agreed that lab-leak was a credible (though not-proved) theory.

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          1. A lab leak is not synonymous with purposeful gain of function creation.

            If the GOF was natural, as often happens in zoonotic infections, then the study of that would be just that: a study of a natural phenomenon.

            And that study is the crux of viral research so we can ascertain the risks and treatments.

            Liked by 2 people

          2. RE: “A lab leak is not synonymous with purposeful gain of function creation.”

            Of course not. It would, however, be scandalous if the U.S. funded a laboratory to perform GOF research and a lab leak occurred there.

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          3. Your assumption is that we funded a lab to perform GOF. Which we did not do. We had some ancillary zoonotic research in the same country that has had many of those types of crossovers. Which makes perfectly good sense.

            Should we have sent the teams to South Africa to study Chinese bats and corona viruses?

            Fauci has security details because of the politically popular right wing issue of the moment. A man who has dedicated his life to a healthy America.

            Shameful

            IMHANEO

            Liked by 2 people

  2. Two months ago, this was the biggest story in town:
    ‘Fauci once argued for risky viral experiments — even if they can lead to pandemic”
    Guilty and reckless.

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        1. “ 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 dialog about whether these experiments should have been performed in the first place,” Fauci wrote.

          He also said the risks of research is less than than the risk of a naturally occurring pandemic.

          You are skipping context.

          Liked by 2 people

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