Richard H. Ebright Profile picture
Board of Governors Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology @RutgersU
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Nov 30 6 tweets 2 min read
House letter, 11/30/22:

"We write to respond to..longstanding
requests to provide..information related of..COVID-19.., including matters related to..grant to EcoHealth Alliance and subgrant to..Wuhan Institute of Virology"… ImageImageImageImage "NIH’s persistent lack of transparency with members of its authorizing committee of jurisdiction is troubling."
Nov 30 7 tweets 1 min read
"On Oct. 28, ProPublica and Vanity Fair published a story about..the origins of COVID-19..Our examination affirms that the story, and the totality of reporting it marshals, is sound."

Review of Criticisms of ProPublica-Vanity Fair Report… "It remains clear that in 2019, the WIV was addressing serious safety issues while scientists there faced pressure to perform. Risky coronavirus research took place in laboratories that lacked the maximum biocontainment safeguards"
Nov 28 12 tweets 2 min read
Public Distrust of Health Officials Is Anthony Fauci’s Legacy

A serially misfeasant, serially perjurious, public official leaves distrust and discontent in his wake.… Fauci understated the threat at every stage in the pandemic prior to the eve of presidential election.

He did so contrary to the facts that were available at the time and that, almost certainly, were known to him and understood by him at the time.
Nov 26 7 tweets 2 min read
Sen. Marshall: "[W]e are calling on.White House to pandemic by pausing viral Gain-of-Function research..Until..federal reformed, our government should not allow..these risky research projects to move forward."… "These experiments pose extreme threats to public health if..pathogens are accidentally or deliberately released..US laboratories are not exempt from lab..accidents. Hundreds of lab..accidents..concealed from the public, have been revealed in..documents obtained through FOIA"
Nov 26 5 tweets 2 min read
Senate letter, 11./22/22:

"We call on you to immediately institute a government-wide pause of all ongoing and new viral Gain-of-Function..studies..due to the current lack of research oversight..and..risks of outbreaks from laboratory accidents."… "These experiments pose extreme threats to public health if the altered pathogens are accidentally or deliberately released."
Nov 23 4 tweets 1 min read
"Deaths caused by bacterial infections accounted for more than 1 in 8 global deaths in 2019, with five pathogens accounting for more than half of those deaths, an international team of researchers reported yesterday in The Lancet."… "The findings of the study, which is the first to provide a global estimate of deaths associated with common bacterial pathogens, indicate bacterial infections were the second leading cause of death in 2019 behind ischemic heart disease and affected all age-groups."
Nov 22 5 tweets 1 min read
Congress: Confront the superbug crisis and pass PASTEUR… "[N]ew antibiotics..must be used sparingly to prevent pathogens from developing resistance..This approach is medically sound. But it’s financially disastrous for drug makers, since new antimicrobials aren’t given often enough to recoup..development costs."
Nov 18 12 tweets 2 min read
Nicholas Wade: "The next Congress should investigate not only how the virus emerged but also the institutional failures that obscured the search for truth."… "Republican capture of the House has now been confirmed. Though its margin will be small, the party will hold a majority in the chamber, and GOP-led committees can exercise subpoena power to uncover documents still withheld by..NIH"
Nov 16 8 tweets 2 min read
"Thousands of people can now assemble infectious viruses from a genome sequence and commercially available synthetic DNA, and numerous projects aim to..identify new viruses that could cause pandemics"… "If a single terrorist with the necessary skills were to release a new virus equivalent to SARS-CoV-2, which has claimed 20 million, that person would have killed more people than if they were to detonate a nuclear warhead in a dense city."
Nov 15 5 tweets 1 min read
A superbug killed my daughter at 25. Here's how Congress can save others.… "A bill before the US Congress would build a solid infrastructure for development and in doing so incentivize drug manufacturers ultimately to better enable us to battle AMR."
Nov 15 7 tweets 1 min read
"From the US perspective alone, we find that..every dollar invested would yield..6 dollars of value over..first 10 years, and..28 dollars over..30-year time horizon"

The World Needs New Antibiotics. A Proposed US Program to Develop Them Would Pay Off 28:1… "American lives would be saved over the next decade, and 383,000 over the next 30 years."
Nov 14 5 tweets 1 min read
"The world is demonstrably vulnerable to the introduction of a single pandemic virus with a comparatively low case fatality rate. The..simultaneous release of many pandemic viruses across travel hubs could threaten the stability of civilisation."… "Current trends suggest that within a decade, tens of thousands of skilled individuals will be able to access the information required for them to single-handedly cause new pandemics."
Nov 14 4 tweets 1 min read
"For persons who had argued..the probability that a GOF-research-related accident could cause a pandemic is nearly zero over..decades, it is difficult to acknowledge the possibility that a GOF-research-related accident already may have caused a pandemic"… "For persons who make their living performing GOF research — particularly those who participated in the specific GOF research project that may have caused the pandemic — it is even harder."
Nov 13 10 tweets 2 min read
COVID origin case reopened: A lab leak is a legitimate question

Three years after the pandemic began, we still don't know the origin of COVID. A strange lack of curiosity has stifled the debate.… "[I]t is extraordinary that three years since the pandemic began, the origin of COVID remains unknown. Previous epidemics—SARS, MERS, Nipah, Hendra, Hanta, Marburg and other emerging viruses — usually have been quickly a date, a place, and an encounter with..animal."
Nov 8 4 tweets 1 min read
Le Monde: "Experiments aimed at making pathogens more virulent or more transmissible do not provide benefits that justify the health risks from possible laboratory accidents. Stricter oversight of these activities, on an international level, is needed."… "In September, WHO proposed 'a global framework for responsible use of life sciences.' acknowledging major flaws in biorisk management and inviting member states to tackle them. It therefore seems clear that we must reassess the value of certain experiments."
Nov 8 5 tweets 2 min read
"In response to a campaign questionnaire..six Democratic House members running for re-election recently committed to investigating 'whether dangerous US taxpayer-funded experiments on bats and other animals in Wuhan, China caused the COVID-19 pandemic.'"… "The Congress members are Matt Cartwright of Pennsylvania, Chris Pappas of New Hampshire, Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey, Sanford Bishop of Georgia, Elaine Luria of Virginia, and Eleanor Holmes Norton of Washington, DC. "
Nov 1 13 tweets 2 min read
"Kawaoka’s lab saw two accidents involving lab-generated flu viruses, just one week apart."

Lab that created risky avian flu had "unacceptable" biosafety protocols "When the University of Wisconsin reported the two incidents to NIH’s Office of Science Policy, set off a flurry of heated conference calls and sternly worded letters involving high-level administrators on both sides. The spat lasted six weeks/"
Nov 1 17 tweets 3 min read
"AT THE MOMENT..the ferret bit him, the researcher, in a lab one block from Central Park..Three days earlier, the ferret had been inoculated with a recombinant strain of 1918 influenza, which killed..50 of WWI." "[A] Mount Sinai administrator sent him home to quarantine for a week, unsupervised, in the most densely populated city in..US. As documents obtained by..Intercept show, staff told him to take his temperature..and to wear an N95 respirator if he..needed to leave for medical care"
Nov 1 15 tweets 2 min read
"In America’s biolabs, hundreds of accidents have gone undisclosed to the public"

"An Intercept investigation based on over 5,500 pages of NIH documents obtained under FOIA has uncovered a litany of mishaps" "'People have it in their minds that lab accidents are very, very rare, and if they happen, they happen only in the least well-run overseas labs,' said Richard Ebright, a molecular biologist at Rutgers..'That simply isn’t true.'"
Nov 1 7 tweets 2 min read
House letter, 10/31/22:

"We write regarding concerns related to..a project..on monkeypox project involves transferring genes from..a version of monkeypox virus..1000x times more lethal..into..version currently circulating in humans."… "[T]he project is reasonably anticipated to yield a lab-generated monkeypox virus..1000x more lethal in mice than the monkeypox virus currently circulating in
humans and that transmits as efficiently as the monkeypox virus currently circulating in humans."
Oct 30 5 tweets 1 min read
"[T]here is no justification for intentionally making potential pandemic viruses more transmissible. The consequences of an accident could be too horrific, and such engineered viruses are not needed for vaccines."

A Plea for Making Virus Research Safer… "Suspicions about a lab-accident origin of SARS-CoV-2 have been fueled by the fact that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was involved in Chinese and international efforts to find and experiment with new high-risk coronaviruses."