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Ex-CDC Director Warns Gain-of-Function Research on Bird Flu Could Spark ‘Great Pandemic’

Dr. Robert Redfield, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has issued a grim warning about the dangers of gain-of-function research, predicting that scientists tinkering with making the bird flu virus more infectious is what will trigger the next “great pandemic.”

Dr. Redfield, who in the past railed against the use of U.S. tax dollars to fund gain-of-function research at the Chinese virus lab at the heart of the COVID-19 origin controversy, is once again sounding the alarm on the dangers of risky scientific experiments going badly awry.

In a recent interview on NewsNation, Dr. Redfield recalled a recent op-ed he wrote in The Wall Street Journal calling for a moratorium on gain-of-function research, which involves altering the properties of a pathogen, such as its virulence, in order to study its potential impact on human health.

Proponents of such research argue it can help scientists better learn how the virus behaves and spreads, and so come up with counter-measures more effectively. Opponents say the potential benefits are outweighed by the risks such research poses as it makes viruses more lethal.

“I don’t think that research should be done,” Dr. Redfield told NewsNation. “That’s the real threat. That’s the real biosecurity threat, that these university labs are doing these bio-experiments that are intentionally modifying viruses—and I think bird flu I think is going to be the cause of a great pandemic—where they are teaching these viruses how to be more infectious for humans.”

Dr. Redfield’s remarks come amid a multi-state outbreak of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) H5N1 virus, commonly known as the bird flu, in dairy cows. The virus has been detected in 42 dairy cattle herds across nine states as of May 13, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Only one case of human infection with the virus has been reported.

Bird Flu Gain-of-Function Research?

While Dr. Redfield said that there’s a “pretty heavy” species barrier (consisting of a five-amino-acid change) for the virus to overcome through natural mutations to become infectious to humans, he said that barrier could easily be erased by human meddling.

“In the laboratory, I could make it highly infectious for humans in months,” he said, while urging his colleagues in the scientific community not to tempt fate and to reject gain-of-function research on the bird flu virus.

Dr. Redfield’s warning comes just weeks after cardiologist Dr. Peter McCullough’s colleagues alleged in a post on the Courageous Discourse blog that the USDA has been collaborating with the Chinese Academy of Sciences since 2021 on research that includes “serial passage” of the bird flu virus through mallard ducks.

“Serial passage is considered gain-of-function research as it mimics a natural zoonotic jump in an accelerated fashion, leading to enhanced transmissibility among different species,” wrote John Leake and Nicolas Hulscher. “This method has a history of artificially introducing novel pathogens into the wild.”

Mr. Leake and Mr. Hulscher said that the bulk of the USDA’s research on avian flu viruses is being conducted at the U.S. National Poultry Research Center, Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory (SEPRL) facility in Athens, Georgia.

One ongoing research project on the bird flu virus that involves collaboration between the USDA and the Chinese Academy of Sciences entails the carrying out “in vivo challenge work” at the SEPRL facility, which involves the introduction of the bird flu virus into a living organism—typically animal—to observe its behavior, immune responses triggered by the virus, and replication dynamics and pathogenicity.

Mr. Leake and Mr. Hulscher alleged that several months after the start of “this gain-of-function attempt” in 2021, a new H5N1 virus (clade 2.3.4.4b) appeared in wild birds in the United States, leading to the current outbreaks.

While a number of researchers propose that the current H5N1 viruses were brought to North America by wild migratory birds from Asia, Mr. Leake and Mr. Hulscher said this is “questionable” and urge investigation into whether there may have been a leak at the SEPRL facility.

“Urgent investigation is required to ensure there were no lab leaks at the SEPRL facility in Athens, Georgia, or any other facility that could lead to the escape of lab-modified strains of H5N1 bird flu,” they wrote.

Gain-Of-Function and COVID-19

The question of whether U.S. tax dollars were used to fund gain-of-function research in China on coronaviruses has been in the spotlight for some time and remains steeped in controversy, in part because the definition of what exactly constitutes such research is a matter of some debate.

Dr. Redfield has insisted that taxpayers ended up unknowingly funding risky gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), the Chinese lab at the center of the lab-leak origin theory of the virus that caused COVID-19.

He made the remark while responding to questions during a March 8, 2023, session of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic.

“I think there’s no doubt that NIH was funding gain-of-function research,” Dr. Redfield told Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.), who then asked the former CDC official, “Is it likely that American tax dollars funded the gain-of-function research that created this virus?” referring to the hypothesis that the pathogen behind COVID-19 leaked from a lab in Wuhan.

He replied in the affirmative, adding that he believes funding came from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other federal agencies.

This has been disputed by Dr. Anthony Fauci, former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), as well as by former NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins, and others.

“The NIH has not ever and does not now fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” Dr. Fauci said at a Senate hearing on May 11, 2021.

Dr. Collins said in a statement on May 19, 2023, that “neither NIH nor NIAID have ever approved any grant that would have supported ‘gain-of-function’ research on coronaviruses that would have increased their transmissibility or lethality for humans.”

In his testimony on Capitol Hill, Dr. Redfield said that the COVID-19 pandemic presented a “case study” on the potential dangers of gain-of-function research and called for such work to be halted.

“While many believe that gain-of-function research is critical to get ahead of viruses by developing vaccines, in this case, I believe it was the exact opposite, unleashing a new virus on the world without any means of stopping it and resulting in the deaths of millions of people,” he said.

“Because of this, it is my opinion that we should call for a moratorium on gain-of-function research until we have a broader debate and we come to a consensus as a community about the value of gain-of-function research,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is preparing for a scenario in which the bird flu starts to spread among humans.

READ 22 COMMENTS
  • Larry says:

    this crap by all these no it alls will kill us all…..

  • Barb says:

    Why isn’t Gain of Function research against the law??!!

  • Dorothy says:

    I blame this on these so-called experts. They are probably wanting this to happen to try and control this country again. They can all go to hell because I would never trust them. Look at what they did with Covid. They shut the country down and took over. I never took the shot then and will never take any vaccines from them, because they are not looking out for anyone, just control.

    • More People targeted to be killed. They say the Quite part outloud. says:

      Very True. The sheep will line up for it. The ones on food stamps and welfare, will surely line up for it. Most of them have never worked a day in their lives. This is why they kill people. They know these people are pure simpletons, with no benefit to society what so ever ever.

  • david l dempsey says:

    It did work the first time so why not try again?

  • Caroline Gann says:

    OK wait a minute here! This article states… “a multi-state outbreak of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) H5N1 virus, commonly known as the bird flu, in dairy cows. The virus has been detected in 42 dairy cattle herds across nine states as of May 13, Dr. Redfield said that there’s a “pretty heavy” species barrier (consisting of a five-amino-acid change) for the virus to overcome through natural mutations to become infectious to humans, he said that barrier could easily be erased by human meddling.
    “In the laboratory, I could make it highly infectious for humans in months,” he said while urging his colleagues in the scientific community not to tempt fate and to reject gain-of-function research on the bird flu virus.”

    This information alone says an awful lot to me!!
    1. cattle are immunized from catching anything dangerous or infectious to each other or humans.
    2. obviously, it has already been artificially mutated if it has already infected cows and one human!
    3. gain of function has been prohibited in the US for a long time which is why Fauci had to hire China to conduct his mad experiments! So why are these US laboratories being allowed to do any such research?!
    4. This Dr. confirms that this virus can be altered to be dangerous to humans in a matter of months! Why after Covid would this research be permitted in this country?! For this question, I would venture to guess the answer… As the polls show, Trump is likely to be the next president. Therefore, it is imperative that a new artificially created, medically lethal, crisis be unleashed to overshadow and further blemish his time in office! However, Trump is hard to fool twice with the same game so chances are he will see it coming this time!
    It seems like the only surprise left to appear is what pharma will be collaborating with what doctor to ride in and save the world from this pandemic!

    People like Fauci have no regard for human life, they want nothing more than to become famous and go down in history as the ‘great humanitarians’ who were able to stop the spread and find cures! Even if the death tolls outnumber lives lost during the world wars!

    Not only is Fauci responsible for the creation and questionably for the release of COVID-19, but he is even more guilty of blocking all the early options for treatment brought forward by actual scientific practicing doctors by rejecting all research provided by said doctors, sabotaging clinical trials for those treatments, and going as far as to have these doctors discredited and encouraging their disbarment! Essentially, Fauci is responsible for Mass murder in this country and by collaboration with other countries should be held responsible for deaths in any country whose officials followed his recommendations! And let us not forget about Bill Gates and his agenda to reduce the population of the world I would not be at all surprised to find evidence of his involvement in creating back-to-back, highly infectious, human-deadly, diseases! Civid made Fauci and Gates a lot of money! And neither have faced any consequences for so many deaths!

    • Pure Insanity in the US GOV. says:

      Death to Fauci and Gates. I hope a good sniper takes them out in 2025. Don’t think their body security can hide them from a long scoped in rifle shot. IMO.

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