The man who created a drug President Trump is taking to help recover from COVID-19 once mentored a virologist known as the Wuhan “Bat Woman.”
Dr. Ralph Baric, who led the team that developed the pharmaceutical remdesivir, also worked on gain-of-function research in The United States before the project was defunded by the US government.
In 2014, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy asked researchers working on ‘gain-of-function’ experiments on influenza, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) to stop their work until a risk assessment was completed.
NPR wrote, “The Obama administration was concerned about any research that could make the viruses more dangerous, so they wanted to stop and review studies to see if they could make these germs capable of causing more disease or spreading easily through the air.”
Baric and his team at UNC Chapel Hill received the following letter in 2014, explaining because their grant is currently funded, “this pause is voluntary.”