Democrats Block Sen. Marshall’s Bills to Halt Risky Gain-of-Function Research
(Washington, D.C., August 4, 2022) – U.S. Senator Roger Marshall went to the Senate floor today and asked for unanimous consent to pass two of his bills aimed at halting risky gain-of-function (GoF) research sponsored by the U.S. federal government. The first bill, the Viral Gain of Function Research Moratorium Act, would place a moratorium on all federal research grants to universities and other organizations conducting GoF research and risky research on potential pandemic pathogens. The second bill, the SAFE Risky Research Act, would target GoF research taking place in countries of concern. Both pieces of Senator Marshall’s legislation were blocked by Senate Democrats. You may click HERE or on the image below to watch Senator Marshall’s remarks.
While speaking about the Viral Gain of Function Research Moratorium Act, Senator Marshall said in part,
“It is disturbing that one of our top public health agencies directed this risky research to be offshored while encouraging the pause in that exact same research in the U.S… Despite warnings and past lab accidents, our public health agencies like NIH continue to fund the WMD research, often in China nonetheless… Shockingly, Congress has minimal insight into the amount of this research at NIH. There is no transparency into their risk evaluation process… This is a national security issue… We must pause this research until national security experts can help create appropriate risk metrics, guardrails and processes for this research…”
While speaking about the SAFE Risky Research Act, Senator Marshall said in part,
“If my colleagues do not agree with placing a full moratorium on gain of function research, I ask for unanimous consent to adopt the SAFE Risky Research Act, which stops federal funds from being used to conduct risky research with countries that threaten our democracy and public health… This legislation is commonsense. We shouldn’t be collaborating on dangerous research with our adversaries… Given the inherent risk, NIH’s unwillingness to fully cooperate with congressional oversight, and Senate Democrats objection to taking the needed step of placing a complete moratorium on gain of function research, we must at least pass this narrow approach today.”
Viral gain-of-function is a laboratory technique that genetically manipulates a virus and can increase or decrease its transmissibility, parthenogenesis and can make it difficult to overcome immune response or vaccines. The technique is risky because it can be used to alter a virus into a bioweapon.
Yesterday, Senator Marshall asked questions during a U.S. Senate hearing on the federal government’s involvement with GoF research projects in China. At the same hearing, Senator Marshall connected Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, to efforts to push GoF research out of the United States and into China through EcoHealth Alliance.
Recently, video was released of Hudson Institute Senior Fellow David Asher, who led the State Department’s COVID-19 origins investigation for the Trump Administration, interviewing Senator Marshall about his leadership in the investigation into the COVID-19 pandemic’s origins and the implications of future gain-of-function research to avoid these types of leaks from reoccurring. Nearly three years after COVID-19’s emergence the world still lacks basic answers on the pandemic’s origins; the Chinese cover up of its rapidly emerging spread; how the National Institutes of Health (NIH) sought to change key scientists’ opinions about a lab leak at the Wuhan Institute of Virology; and why there is a lack accountability, transparency, and responsibility among scientists and public health officials in the United States and around the world. You may click HERE or on the image below to watch the interview.
Earlier this year, Senator Marshall and U.S. Representative Jim Jordan (OH) released a video detailing Dr. Tony Fauci’s involvement with the COVID-19 China cover up. The video comes on the heels of Dr. Fauci refusing to stop using U.S. taxpayer dollars to award China grants following a question by Senator Marshall at a committee hearing. Senator Marshall and Representative Jordan have been leading the fight to uncover the origins of COVID-19. You may click HERE or on the image below to watch Senator Marshall and Representative Jordan’s video.
Recently, at a hearing when Senator Marshall asked Dr. Fauci if he would stop using U.S. taxpayer dollars to fund Chinese Communist Party research projects – such as EcoHealth Alliance’s activities at the Wuhan Institute of Virology – Dr. Fauci admitted his agency does not have any plans to do so. You may click HERE or on the image below to watch Senator Marshall’s full exchange with Dr. Fauci.
Having been the first member of Congress to sound the alarm on the House floor about the spread of COVID-19 and later serving on the frontlines as a volunteer treating patients in Wyandotte County and Seward County, Senator Marshall has been leading the effort in the U.S. Senate to get to the bottom of the origins of COVID-19.
In February 2022, Senator Marshall penned an op-ed for the Washington Examiner about the nearly ten billion dollars in funding controlled by Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Francis Collins and how those dollars appear to have influenced scientists worldwide on their opinion of COVID origins.
Upon joining the U.S. Senate in 2021, Senator Marshall released a multi-step path forward on getting to the bottom of the origins of COVID-19 and holding China accountable for its actions surrounding the earliest days of the outbreak. Since then, he has introduced the Chinese Communist Party Accountability Act to place sanctions on the top two Chinese health officials with early ties to the COVID-19 outbreak who obfuscated actionable information; the Viral Gain of Function Research Moratorium Act to place a moratorium on all federal research grants to universities and other organizations conducting gain-of-function research and risky research on potential pandemic pathogens; and the National BioSecurity Improvement Act to ensure federally-funded research involving potentially dangerous pathogens does not compromise national security. You may click HERE or on the image below to read the Senator’s multi-step path forward.
The Senator introduced a resolution calling for a bipartisan Select Committee to investigate the origins of COVID-19. The Senate passed a bipartisan amendment offered by Senator Marshall and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) calling for a transparent investigation into the COVID-19 outbreak mandated by the World Health Assembly during its current session, which ends on Monday. Additionally, if China continues on its path of cover-up and obfuscation, the Marshall-Gillibrand Amendment demands a full, transparent investigation to include the U.S. and our allies and partners around the world. In fact, Senators Marshall and Gillibrand held the first joint bipartisan Senate briefing on the origins of COVID-19 bringing together healthcare, national security, medical, and academic experts.
In November 2021, Senators Marshall and Gillibrand joined forces with Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) to introduce bipartisan legislation to create a 9/11-style commission to investigate COVID-19 origins and identify lessons learned regarding U.S. preparedness, response, and recovery to improve our ability to respond to future outbreaks. Senators Marshall and Gillibrand were on MSNBC’s Morning Joe to discuss the legislation, which you may watch by clicking HERE or on the image below. In the following months, he secured this 9/11 Style COVID task force in the Senate HELP Committee’s bipartisan PREVENT Pandemics Act.
Senator Marshall was the first U.S. Senator to demand answers from the DOD and HHS on possible COVID-19 infections of U.S. Army troops who participated in the 2019 World Military Games that took place in Wuhan, China from October 18-28, 2019.
In March 2022, the U.S. Senate passed Senator Marshall’s legislation to end the COVID-19 national state of emergency that is currently in effect under the National Emergencies Act (NEA). President Donald Trump invoked the NEA in March 2020 in regard to COVID-19. In February 2021 and then again in February 2022, President Joe Biden extended it. Under the NEA, Congress is mandated to determine whether the emergency should continue, a process Congress has not fully enforced, ceding power to the executive. The U.S. House of Representatives has not voted on Senator Marshall’s legislation.