Besides the self-complimenting, another common tone from Trump’s COVID19 press conferences has been the blame-game he has played, especially when pointing the finger at the Obama administration.
A couple weeks back Trump was asked about the U.S. giving the lab in Wuhan money:
A Newsmax reporter asked President Donald Trump about the research project in an April 17 press briefing, suggesting that all $3.7 million had gone to the Wuhan lab.
“We will end that grant very quickly,” Trump said. “It was granted quite awhile ago,” he added, referencing the Obama administration. “Who was president then, I wonder?”
Trump ended up cutting that funding just this past Friday.
Now the Wuhan lab should be familiar to all of us. Many conspiracies have revolved around the notion that COVID19 may have been created there. I was one to dismiss those, but now Newsweek has a rather interesting article talking about the kind of studies that were done there.
In 2014 the National Institute of Health gave a $3.7 million grant to the Wuhan lab to study bats and Coronavirus, along with another phase to study the human infection component. In order to do that, a technique referred to as gain-of-function research was used.
Gain of Function (GoF) is the practice of forcing a virus to mutate from animal to human in order to better study it and prepare. The practice is highly controversial, as the Newsweek article mentions:
According to Richard Ebright, an infectious disease expert at Rutgers University, the project description refers to experiments that would enhance the ability of bat coronavirus to infect human cells and laboratory animals using techniques of genetic engineering. In the wake of the pandemic, that is a noteworthy detail.
Ebright, along with many other scientists, has been a vocal opponent of gain-of-function research because of the risk it presents of creating a pandemic through accidental release from a lab.
Here you can start seeing where the “lab grown” theories were born. Given the concerns of this type of work, the Obama administration immediately issued a moratorium on GoF research in 2014, the same year as the grants. In the moratorium orders it was specifically stated the concern was bio-safety and bio-security.
That moratorium on GoF research? Well it ended in 2017 after Trump took office.
So back to that $3.7 million Trump was asked about on April 17. You might be thinking “well Obama did give the grant,” but there were 2 grants. One grant in 2014 and the other in 2019. While it seems like the Newsmax reporter was asking him about the 2014 grant, what he canceled last week was started under his administration for another $3.7 million.
If all this confuses you, well you aren’t alone. Does it mean COVID19 is some intentional pandemic? Not at all. Does it mean it was created in a lab? Well we don’t really know. As it turns out when the Trump administration allowed the resumption of the controversial gain-of-function research, it was agreed to have oversight by scientists. The problem is that the oversight was muzzled, so finding out the answers will become that much harder.