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On CNN, during an interview with Jim Acosta, the NIH director stated regarding the clash between Rand Paul and Anthony Fauci “Well, it’s very unfortunate to have something that I think could be readily resolved in terms of understanding the meaning of the term ‘gain of function.’ But instead this has turned into political theatrics. It’s really unfortunate. We have so many more important things to spend our time on right now. But it’s a diagnosis of just how polarized everything has become. So, that even in the face of this terrible pandemic that has taken more than 600.000 lives in this country, this kind of time is being wasted on this kind of posturing.”
Collins of course never tries to clarify the term “gain of function.” His answer impresses me as a variation on a theme of Bill Clinton’s, every time he was asked about Monica Lewinski. He would refuse to answer and say he had to get back to work for the American people. Same sort of caviling.
Collins goes on to avoid answering directly Acosta’s question on Fauci’s insistence that the NIH never funded gain of function research at Wuhan, He simply states that Anthony Fauci has been truthful in all his interactions with Collins and is a great public servant, but never specifically denies that gain of function research was funded by NIH at Wuhan. Cavil after cavil, avoidance after avoidance. Non sequitur after non sequitur.
Collins: “I absolutely support Tony Fauci in every way. I have never known him to be anything other than completely truthful. He is a public servant that people should all be thankful to. And to see him attacked and demonized this way on political grounds is really hard to watch.” Methinks the director, like Anthony Fauci confronting Rand Paul, doth protest too much.
He has as much responsibility as does Fauci if gain of function research funded by the NIH at Wuhan did indeed produce this pandemic. Which is looking increasingly likely. He was in the loop with Fauci on the successful effort to avoid the moratorium on such research funding. SO he has a very strong vested interest in denying that the NIH funded gain of function research at Wuhan. Yet he never clearly states that the NIH did not fund such research. He punts, and gives Fauci the benefit of the doubt, then pleads victimhood for him. Disgraceful.
Then he enthusiastically agrees with the judicial decision regarding the Indiana University vaccine mandate, though he had just acknowledged that such mandates were problematic with a vaccine not fully cleared for use as nonexperimental. He states that full approval of the vaccines is a month or two away. Obviously, he is putting pressure on the FDA for full clearance of the vaccine, removing the vaccines from experimental status. The FDA may be foolish enough to succumb to such pressure.
That judicial decision, as I have noted previously, utterly violates the bedrock medical ethics (that phrase has become an oxymoron, unfortunately) principle that no medical experimentation be done without informed consent of the subject of the experimentation, without coercion of any sort. That principle was ostensibly established at Nuremberg. We now have the NIH director on record as supporting such coerced medical experimentation.
I invoke Richard Feynman, who used to wander around Los Alamos cracking safes and leaving notes for Security stating: “This safe is not safe.” Francis Collins’ medical ethics are not ethical. But you can say that about pretty much all medical ethics today, sadly. And in my opinion, as a physician, that has been the case for a very long time. To paraphrase AlanPaton: Cry, the beloved profession.Published in