Rep. Cuellar and Rep. Carter Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Prevent Future Man-Made Pathogens from Entering U.S. Communities
Washington | Dana Youngentob, DC Press Secretary (202-340-9148), September 10, 2021
Washington, DC– Today, Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) and Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA) introduced bipartisan legislation to pause taxpayer funding for gain-of-function research over the next five years. Without proper safety standards and protocols, gain-of-function research creates an immense risk of man-made, deadly pathogens entering our communities.
Gain-of-function research is the study of the enhancement of infectious diseases. The research aims to introduce new ways to combat these diseases. It includes development and weaponization of deadly viruses and can entail transmissibility, altered pathogenesis, and host range (types of hosts the disease can infect).
“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,” Congressman 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.”
“This is something we never should have allowed without proper oversight and safety protocols,” said Congressman 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.”
Recently, it has been reported that the EcoHealth Alliance, a U.S. based health organization, used federal money to fund bat coronavirus research at the Wuhan Lab in China. It is speculated that the COVID-19 pandemic originated from this Wuhab Lab.