Sen. Rand Paul is calling for restrictions on the export of DNA technology to China in the same way that the export of nuclear technology is prohibited.
DNA technology, which comes in the form of CRISPR gene editing tools, effectively enables geneticists to tinker with the building blocks of biological life and modify every aspect of a person, animal, plant, or virus DNA from the ground up. The technology, among other DNA tech, can be used to perform gain-of-function research on viruses.
“Before we even get to whether the virus came from a lab we have to explore, were they doing gain-of-function research?” Paul said to Bret Baier in a Fox News interview Tuesday, where he explained the intentions of his Senate Health Committee on Gain-of-Function hearing, RealClearPolitics reported.
“Were they taking viruses, mixing them with unknown viruses and creating more lethal viruses or viruses that were more infectious or transmissible. I say without question they were doing this. Anthony Fauci says they weren’t,” he added.
“Tomorrow we will have the first gain-of-function hearing on Capitol Hill, the first exploration of this topic in two years. A million Americans died and we have not had one single hearing,” said the senator from Kentucky.
“Tomorrow we have the first hearing and I’ll ask three scientists, very esteemed scientists, scientists with hundreds of peer-reviewed papers, editors of journals. This is an elite group of scientists that will be there tomorrow.”
“I’m going to ask them was it gain-of-function research that was going on in Wuhan. That doesn’t prove it came from a lab but it proves that dangerous research was happening there and that it could have come from a lab,” Paul promised.
“My question is even if we don’t know for certain, let’s say it is 50/50, that’s still a big probability that it came from a lab. At that point, wouldn’t we want to make sure we’re controlling [it]?” Paul added.
“We have restrictions on exporting nuclear technology. Should we have restrictions on exporting DNA technology to Communist China? I think yes.”