There are inherent risks to viral gain-of-function research, and there are limited benefits. There is no practical civilian application, nor does it aid in the development of vaccines or beneficial drugs, and it should not be paid for by American taxpayers.
March 16, 2023
The Honorable Roger Marshall
Senator from Kansas
479A Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Senator Marshall,
On behalf of over 2 million members of the Association of Mature American Citizens – AMAC, including over 27,000 members residing in Kansas, I write to offer our support for S. 81, the Viral Gain-of-Function Moratorium Act.
In testimony before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Spending Oversight, Professor Richard Ebright from Rutgers University stated that gain-of-function research “involves the creation of new health threats—health threats that did not exist previously and that might not come to exist by natural means for tens, hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of years.” He continued by stating that most research has been paid for with U.S. funding, whether the research is conducted in the United States or overseas.
Viral gain-of-function research creates new or enhanced potential pandemic pathogens. This research poses a threat to not only Americans, but the world as new pathogens can either be accidentally or deliberately released and create a pandemic as evidenced by the COVID-19 proliferation. Additionally, members of the scientific community publish research findings that may provide step-by-step instructions for creating these potentially deadly viruses.
As Professor Ebright stated in his testimony, there are inherent risks to viral gain-of-function research, and there are limited benefits. There is no practical civilian application, nor does it aid in the development of vaccines or beneficial drugs. The benefit vs. risk ratio for viral gain-of-function research is profoundly negative and it should not be paid for by the American people.
Thank you, Senator Marshall, for your work to end the taxpayer funding of viral gain-of-function research. This legislation is a crucial step to ensure that a man-made pandemic does not occur, and AMAC is pleased to offer our organization’s full support for S. 81.
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