NIH Was Feeding Gain-Of-Function Disinfo To Journalists: Documents

By TYLER DURDEN – Zerohedge

House investigators on the Energy and Commerce Committee released a 73-page report yesterday documenting NIH officials lying about dangerous gain-of-function virus research to reporters and withholding information from Congress. These latest revelations follow reporting last week that Tony Fauci lied to the New York Times about his involvement in a Nature Medicine piece that advanced the theory that the pandemic could not have started in a lab Fauci himself was funding in Wuhan, China.

The House began the investigation following a September 2022 article in Science Magazine that reported on the dangers of monkeypox virus, spreading across the globe with the potential to adapt to humans and become more transmissible or deadly. Bernard Moss, a veteran poxvirus researcher at the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), told Science Magazine that monkeypox evolves to replicate faster in humans.

Science noted that Moss had begun gain-of-function experiments—swapping out genes from various variants—to understand why some are more dangerous or transmissible than others.

Moss has been trying for years to figure out the crucial difference between two variants of monkeypox virus: clade 2, which until recently was found only in West Africa and is now causing the global outbreak, and clade 1, believed to be much deadlier, which has caused outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of Congo for many decades. He’s found that clade 1 virus can kill a mouse at levels 1000 times lower than those needed with clade 2. To find out why, Moss and his colleagues swapped dozens of clade 2 genes, one at a time, into clade 1 virus, hoping to see it become less deadly, but with no luck so far. Now, they are planning to try the opposite, endowing clade 2 virus with genes from its deadlier relative.

Moss’s disclosure that he planned to insert genes from the more deadly clade 1 monkeypox strain into the more common and transmissible clade 2 monkeypox virus triggered a second story in Science Magazine with scientists expressing alarm at the study’s dangers.

On the other hand, Ohio State University researcher Linda Saif told Science Magazine’s Jocelyn Kaiser that she was worried that excessive regulation could “greatly impede research into evolving or emerging viruses” and drive research overseas, where U.S. regulations don’t apply or are looser. Oddly enough, I previously reported that Saif helped orchestrate a February 2020 essay ghostwritten by Shi Zhengli of the Wuhan Institute of Virology that called the possibility of a Wuhan lab accident a “conspiracy.”

Based on a statement from Moss’s NIAID, Science Magazine’s Kaiser later updated her article to claim that Moss’s research would only involve clade 2a, not clade 2b monkeypox virus.

Eight months later, STAT News reporter Helen Branswell wrote that Republicans were “targeting” NIAID researcher Bernie Moss and alleged he had never proposed to move forward with the dangerous virus studies.

But a spokesperson for NIAID told STAT in late May that there had been no formal proposal from Moss to do the research and the institution had no plan to proceed with the study.

Branswell then posted on X that “House Republicans want to interrogate poxvirus scientist Bernie Moss—who has been at NIH for 57 years—for work he did not do.”

The reports by Science Magazine’s Kaiser and STAT’s Branswell are both false.

In their report, House investigators document that—weeks after NIAID claimed to Science Magazine’s Kaiser that Moss’s planned monkeypox research involved clade 2a, not clade 2b monkeypox—Moss posted a preprint reporting he already started research with clade 2a and planned research with clade 2b.

“We have started to investigate the genetic determinants responsible for virulence differences of clade I and IIa viruses and plan to extend this to clade IIb pending institutional approval,” Moss and co-authors wrote in a preprint.

House investigators document several other examples of NIH lying about the nature of Moss’s research and withholding documents demanded for over a year. After investigators threatened a subpoeana, NIH relented and admitted in March that Moss had submitted a formal proposal to insert genes from the more deadly clade 1 monkeypox strain into the more common and transmissible clade 2 monkeypox virus (MPXV).

And the NIH’s Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) approved Moss’s research plan to conduct these dangerous studies in 2015.

A March 19, 2024, letter from HHS and documents reviewed on March 20, 2024, in camera by bipartisan Committee staff confirmed what the agencies had been denying for over a year: that a research team led by Dr. Bernard Moss of NIAID submitted a proposal for a bidirectional MPXV approach at a meeting before the NIH IBC on June 30, 2015.35 This bidirectional approach “was considered and approved by the IBC.”36 The research proposal involved bidirectional transfer of genes between clades I and II of the MPXV, including a proposed transfer of genes from the more lethal clade I into the less lethal but much more transmissible clade II.

Despite NIH approving Moss in 2015 to conduct studies they falsely claim he never proposed, NIH now claims Moss never performed the research.

On a final note, pandemic author Laurie Garrett promoted Helen Branswell’s post on X to falsely claim that House Republicans want to “crucify” Bernie Moss for work he never did. “But he mentioned it in an interview with @ScienceMagazine—and that, apparently, is enough to put a target on his back. This is why scientists are clamming up, avoiding media.”

House investigators continue to press the NIH to explain the research Moss actually conducted and said they would like to see lab notebooks to prove which studies he actually performed.

Attempting to flush out who sent Science Magazine false information about Moss’s studies, House investigators demanded last October that NIH turn over all documents related to Science Magazine’s coverage of the controversy “including communications between NIH and American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) or Science magazine.”

NIH has failed to respond to this request and Science Magazine has not corrected their reporting.

However, House investigators have not demanded that NIH explain who provided false information to STAT News reporter Helen Branswell claiming Moss had not proposed the monkeypox research he had actually proposed and was approved to conduct in 2015.

But in a deposition released by the House COVID Select Subcommittee, Tony Fauci’s former chief of staff, Greg Folkers, testified under oath that STAT’s Branswell would call him to get direct access to Fauci.

“So you asked me the names of a couple people who might call me directly,” Folkers told House investigators. “John Cohen of Science who I’ve known for a long time would sometimes say, ‘Hey, can I talk to Tony?’ And Helen Branswell of Stat, again, would do the same thing.”

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