By Zachary Stieber
No documents exist explaining why officials decided to remove the definition of “gain-of-function research” from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) website, the agency told The Epoch Times.
The NIH site used to include a 232-word definition of the research but it was removed around the same time the agency disclosed that research it funded in China met the definition.
The alteration took place sometime between Oct. 19 and Oct. 21.
The Epoch Times submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for any communications and other documents from between Oct. 1 and Oct. 25 relating to the change, which had been authorized by the NIH Office of Communications and Public Liaison.
The request was closed this week. The NIH told The Epoch Times that it “does not have documentation” on the change other than the updated page.
The Department of Health and Human Services in 2017 published a document explaining how to deal with proposed research involving “enhanced potential pandemic pathogens,” or gain-of-function research. The document narrowed the definition to pathogens both highly transmissible and likely to cause significant sickness or death in humans.
The page in question “had described the general definition of gain-of-function research that fell outside the scope of the HHS P3CO Framework,” an NIH spokeswoman told The Epoch Times in an email in October.
“However, that information was being misused/used incorrectly (and still is) and creating confusion (and still is),” she added, triggering the change.
The NIH’s FOIA office sent a statement on the change that was nearly identical as the one from the spokeswoman.
Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.), the ranking Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, told The Epoch Times via email that the changed definition “has only muddied the waters.”
“Part of understanding what happened in the Wuhan lab is understanding precisely what gain of function means, and NIH has not been helpful in this regard,” he said.
The documents released to lawmakers in October showed the NIH funded, via the EcoHealth Alliance, research in China that included enhancing the pathogenicity of a modified bat coronavirus.
Experts told The Epoch Times that the research clearly fit the definition of gain-of-function.
Dr. Francis Collins, the head of the NIH, had asserted in a statement in May that his agency had never approved any grant ” that would have supported ‘gain-of-function’ research on coronaviruses that would have increased their transmissibility or lethality for humans.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of Collins’ top subordinates, said under oath during a congressional hearing that “The NIH has not ever and does not now fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”
After the October disclosure, Collins and Fauci appeared to admit the research met the general definition of gain-of-function, but argued it did not meet the definition laid out in the framework.
Affiliate News Feeds
- Washington Examiner
- The Federalist
- The Epoch Times
- The Guardian
- The Gateway Pundit
- Judicial Watch
The University of Florida College of Medicine has scrubbed its website of mentions of Black Lives Matter and other racialized content after a report highlighted the medical school's implementation of… [...]
Several Senate Republicans have reiterated their demand that the U.S. military drop its coronavirus vaccine mandate and urged Republican leadership to use the National Defense Authorization Act as leverage in… [...]
The Poynter Institute is recapturing control of the masses by streamlining and centralizing the fact-checking industry. [...]
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and 19 other senators are threatening not to vote for new defense spending unless there’s also a vote to end the military’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. “We’re… [...]
Exclusive: Evidence to UK Covid inquiry describes missed chances to improve test-and-trace regime in early days of pandemicPublic health leaders were slow to act on repeated warnings over Christmas 2020… [...]
Former lady-in-waiting to queen issues apology after Ngozi Fulani questioned over where her ‘people’ came fromThe late queen’s lady-in-waiting has resigned and apologised after a black guest at a reception… [...]
They’re getting ready to throw Joe Biden in the garbage can. The Democrats are rebranding and promoting the younger generation to leadership positions. Pelosi, Hoyer and Clyburn earlier this month… [...]
Former President Bill Clinton, 76, on Wednesday said he tested positive for Covid-19 and is experiencing mild symptoms. “I’ve tested positive for Covid. I’ve had mild symptoms, but I’m doing… [...]
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for all records of communications… [...]
Though years ago India passed a sweeping law giving transgender people rights—and prohibiting discrimination in education, employment, and healthcare—the Biden administration is spending American taxpayer dollars to counter stigma and… [...]