Dangerous Experiments
© Lisa Yount/Pixabay
We've reached a point of Maximal Bureaucratic Psychopathy in Science

That's where committees of committees aim to improve your health by giving one human the ability to kill a billion.

In 2015 a scientist at Anthony Fauci's agency thought it would be neat to mix two Monkeypox strains together to make a nastier one. For no reason anyone can explain, the National Institutes of Health's Institutional Review Board thought it would be neat too, and approved it.

A normal person might worry that doddery Joe Biden has the nuclear codes, but all along, unnamed, unaccountable countless others might have their fingers on equivalent bombs, and they won't need to input any codes to set off the bombs, just have a bad day.

Monkeypox virus
The idea was to mix a deadly but slow strain of monkey pox with a tamer monkey pox strain that spread quickly. This could have created a virus with the "best of both" โ€” an agent with a 15% fatality rate and a reproduction rate of 2.4, which would make it very much "pandemic potential". (With one infected person infecting 2.4 others, this was a similar rate of spread to the original Wu-Flu, but so much deadlier).

So any normal human would know this was a stupid risk to take, but the NIH did it anyway. Worse, they knew it was bad, and they hid the approval for nine years. Even when the investigators from a House Committee came knocking, they concealed the project approval. They now say the experiment was never done, but they can't point to a single email or memo to show it was stopped. The original approval has only recently been reversed.

As long as the festering mess that gave us Covid is not dealt with โ€” it's just a matter of time before we get the next one.

Four years on and no one has been sacked for the lab leak that infected the world, or the cover up that hid the origin.

Fauci swears that a biosecurity breach in Wuhan could not possibly have anything to do with his former agency NIAID, but since they hid the monkeypox approval, and told journalists it never happened, then stonewalled and denied it to a congressional committee, Fauci's assurances are worth about as much as nine years of active deception suggest.

Reckless Gain-of-Function experiments with viruses is like letting the local university make nuclear bombs in basements of skyscrapers. Except it's more dangerous.

Is there any reason the NIH should not be razed to the ground?

Thanks to David Archibald for sending the story:
Fauci's institute hid mpox gain-of-function plans from Congress and the media

For nearly nine years Anthony Fauci's institute concealed plans to engineer a pandemic capable mpox virus with a case fatality rate of up to 15 percent, congressional investigators revealed in a new report Tuesday.

In June 2015, a scientist at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases received formal approval from the National Institutes of Health's Institutional Review Board for experiments expected to engineer an mpox virus with high transmissibility and moderate mortality.

NIAID โ€” the institute Fauci oversaw for nearly four decades and which underwrites most federally funded gain-of-function research โ€” concealed the project's approval from investigators with the House Committee on Energy and Commerce over the course of a 17 month-long investigation.
It's getting hard to tell the difference between an enemy threat and a normal government operation:
Mpox, formerly known as monkeypox, caused a public health emergency in the U.S. from August 2022 to February 2023. It is endemic in Africa. The more deadly clade circulates in Central Africa (clade I) while the more transmissible clade circulates in West Africa (clade II). Mpox has infected more than 20,000 people and caused more than 1,000 deaths in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where clade I predominates, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention โ€” though some experts believe that is an undercount of true cases. A strain of the clade II virus drove the American outbreak.

The mpox experiment first came to light in a September 2022 article in Science.

The gain-of-function project proposed by NIAID virologist Bernard Moss would splice genes conferring high pathogenicity from the clade I virus into the more transmissible clade II virus. The new "chimeric" (combined) virus could have retained up to a 15 percent fatality rate and a 2.4 reproductive number, a measure of transmissibility indicating every sick person could infect up to 2.4 people on average, giving it pandemic potential.
When it's a matter of life and death, why not put a lying agency in charge of checking its own funding? This is what the experts do:
"The new [Office of Science and Technology Policy] continues to give funding agencies, like NIAID, primary responsibility for oversight of GOFROC [Gain of Function Research of Concern] and DURC [Dual Use Research of Concern] experiments involving potentially dangerous pathogens," the committee's report reads. "In almost any other scientific field or industry, this arrangement would be immediately recognized as a conflict of interest, necessitating independent review and oversight."
They are talking about some of the nastiest plans known to man. DURC or "Dual Use Research of Concern" is the polite way to label a discovery that has a dual purpose, meaning it could be a cure for cancer or a weapon of war. They could just as easily have called it Potential Bioweapons of War, but they don't want to scare the funders (us).

What if researchers were high on the thrill of the discovery-of-a-lifetime and most of the costs and risks (global pandemics) are externalized, and the committees that approved them worked as well as "peer review" does in the rest of government strangled science?

What if some of those committees were infiltrated by foreign adversaries? That might actually improve things. The Russians might leak the news of what's going on in Western labs to the media...
CDC Data
The one "good" thing about this story is knowing that the last pandemic could have been so much worse.