January 26, 2023
Contact: Press_Paul@paul.senate.gov202-224-4343

Washington, D.C. – Recently, U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) joined his colleagues in reintroducing the Viral Gain-of-Function Research Moratorium Act, originally sponsored by U.S. Senator Roger Marshall (R-KS). The legislation would place a moratorium on all federal research grants involving risky gain-of-function research on potential pandemic pathogens. A new report from a federal watchdog agency concluded that the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) failed to meet key elements of its mandated oversight program responsibility.

“Even as Dr. Fauci denies it, there is strong evidence COVID-19 started in a lab in Wuhan,” said Dr. Paul. “However, if we have learned anything from this pandemic, it’s that risky virus enhancing research – like the type conducted at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, also funded by the U.S. government – is an unnecessary form of science that could lead to the death of millions of people. The Viral Gain-of-Function Research Moratorium Act puts a stop to federal research grants to universities and organizations that participate in this type of research, ensuring that taxpayer money will no longer be used to fund deadly manmade viruses.”

Also joining the legislation as original cosponsors were Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Mike Braun (R-IN), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Joni Ernst (R-IA), James Lankford (R-OK), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), and Roger Wicker (R-MS).

“For the past few years, a select group of individuals at NIH and other federal agencies have undermined congressional oversight instead of being transparent or accountable to the American people,” said Senator Marshall. “This has hampered our ability to get to the bottom of the COVID-19 outbreak and gain a full understanding of how much taxpayers are subsidizing these dangerous activities. This new GAO report further bolsters the need to address NIH’s failure in executing its oversight responsibilities of federally-funded research. Until the oversight process is reformed and adequate guidelines are in place to protect all of us from dangerous outbreaks, we must not allow any this research to continue.” 

Additionally, the Viral Gain-of-Function Research Moratorium Act was endorsed by the White Coat Waste Project upon introduction.

Justin Goodman, Senior Vice President of Advocacy and Public Policy for White Coast Waste Project, said, “as the government watchdog that first exposed taxpayer funding for the Wuhan animal lab, we proudly support the Viral Gain-of-Function Research Moratorium Act. Stop the money. Stop the madness!”

You may click HERE to read the Viral Gain-of-Function Moratorium Act.


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