Virus hunting and “gain-of-function” experiments are two of Bill Gates’ passions.
There are hundreds of labs—in the U.S., China and around the world—that collect and manipulate viruses, including coronaviruses, and bacteria, fungi, and other toxins that cause disease and death. COVID-19 could have come from any number of these labs—and so could the next pandemic.
In these labs, scientists use genetic engineering and synthetic biology to give pathogens new functions, making them more lethal, contagious, infectious or resistant to treatment.
This research is euphemistically called “gain-of-function” research. But we should call it what it is: biological weapons—or “gain-of-threat”—research.
One of the leading “virus hunters” in the world, gathering specimens for “gain-of function” lab work, is the Deputy Director for “surveillance and epidemiology” at the Gates Foundation, Dr. Scott F. Dowell.
In his virus hunting, Dowell has taken a special interest in novel zoonotic viruses that show promise for human-to-human transmission. He has hunted viruses with the intention of getting them back to the lab to be manipulated with genetic engineering and synthetic biology to increase their pandemic threat. These experiments are known as “gain-of-function” or “dual-use research of concern” because of their similarity to biological weapons research.
Dowell partnered with the Pentagon on his CDC work, creating a vast global network of laboratories for virus hunting and dual-use research. Dowell’s work has helped position the U.S. military as the world’s largest pharmaceutical company.