Bipartisan Lawmakers Decry Taxpayer-Funded Bird Flu Research

Representative Nick Langworthy (R-NY) sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack, condemning taxpayer-funded research that could “potentially generate dangerous new lab-created virus strains that threaten our national security and public health.”

Langworthy and 17 other members of Congress wrote that they are “disturbed” by the USDA’s collaboration with the “Chinese Communist Party (CCP)-linked Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) on bird flu research.”

The research involves the “in vivo passage of viruses through mallard ducks and Chinese goose species to predict evolution in natural hosts,” “viral evolution and transmission dynamics of avian influenza virus (AIV) infection in Japanese quail as an indicator species of potential to jump into mammalian hosts,” and experiments with “highly pathogenic avian influenza.”

The reps. who signed the letter include Langworthy, Morgan Griffith (R-VA), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Ben Cline (R-VA), Gregory Steube (R-FL), Mary Miller (R-IL), Austin Scott (R-GA), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), David Valadao (R-CA), Claudia Tenney (R-NY), John Moolenaar (R-MI), Bill Posey (R-FL), Marcus Molinaro (R-NY), Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Ralph Norman (R-SC), Scott Franklin (R-FL), Scott Perry (R-PA), Andrew Ogles (R-TN), and Brandon Williams (R-NY).

In February, the White Coast Waste Project (WCW) revealed how the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has collaborated with China in conducting “bird flu gain-of-function experiments.”

At least $1 million dollars is funding a five-year project between the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, an organization affiliated with the Wuhan lab. The collaboration runs from 2021-2026, according to the report.

American Faith reported that former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Robert Redfield admitted in a March 2022 interview that former National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Director Dr. Anthony Fauci had signed off on gain-of-function research to be performed on bird flu viruses.

Dr. Redfield was apparently referencing a 2012 publication in the journal Science funded by NIAID and National Institutes of Health (NIH) that revealed the ease with which the H5N1 avian influenza virus could be turned into an airborne spreader in mammals.

“This is a major disagreement I’ve had with my colleague Dr. Fauci—when they decided to publish the amino sequence changes that were required to make bird flu a pathogen for humans,” Dr. Redfield said in the interview. “I felt we shouldn’t publish that. We shouldn’t be doing this research. It’s potentially too dangerous [and] could cause a pandemic.”

Later on in the interview, Redfield predicted a coming bird flu pandemic would be much worse than the COVID pandemic.

“I don’t believe [COVID] is the ‘great pandemic,’” he argued. “I believe the great pandemic is still in the future. And that’s going to be a bird flu pandemic from man. It’s going to have significant mortality, in the ten to fifteen percent range. It’s going to be trouble. And we should get prepared for it.”