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Former CDC director warns next pandemic may be catastrophic, worse than COVID

Published in Blog on July 10, 2024 by Jakob Fay

Former director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. Robert Redfield is sounding the alarm about the next pandemic, which he fears may be “much more catastrophic than the COVID pandemic.”

According to the doctor, who served in the Trump administration during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the next pandemic will likely stem from the bird flu, which experts previously claimed only rarely affects humans.

“I really do think it’s very likely that we will, at some time, it’s not a question of if, it’s more of a question of when we will have a bird flu pandemic,” he said.

This virus, officially known as H5N1, has reportedly resulted in the deaths of millions of birds and “legions of seals and sea lions” over the past two years. More recently, the infection has spread to over 100 cattle farms in America, raising concerns that the bird flu may have mutated. Four human dairy workers have also been infected.

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Redfield cautioned that while the current risk to humans remains low, another incident similar to the Wuhan lab leak could potentially increase the virus’s pathogenicity in humans. At present, there is no evidence of human-to-human transmission of the virus. However, scientists have raised concerns that the virus could mutate to acquire this ability. Redfield also pointed out that the “recipe for how to make bird flu highly infectious for humans is already out there.”

“This is why I’ve called for a moratorium on gain-of-function research until we can have a broader public debate about it,” the doctor stated, alluding to the controversial practice of manipulating disease-causing pathogens. “I’m not convinced it needs to be done,” he continued. “I don’t think there’s really any benefit from it. Some of my colleagues disagree with me, but I think we shouldn’t do it until we know how we do it in a safe, responsible, and effective way, and we clearly can’t do that at the present time.”

Former Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Doctor Anthony Fauci, who oversaw the nation’s botched response to COVID-19, faced criticism for his seemingly dishonest testimony to Congress regarding gain-of-function research in China. Infamously, Fauci asserted before Congress that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) had never provided funding for gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which is suspected to be the origin of COVID-19. However, later documents revealed that such claims were fabricated.

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“The documents make it clear that assertions . . . that the NIH did not support gain-of-function research or potential pandemic pathogen enhancement in Wuhan are untruthful," explained Richard Ebright, the laboratory director at the Waksman Institute of Microbiology. Contrary to Fauci’s claim, Ebright argued, the NIH “unequivocally” funded gain-of-function research in China.

In a world wearied by COVID-19, sweeping government shutdowns, and the looming specter of a potentially more deadly second pandemic, Dr. Redfield’s plea to halt gain-of-function research will undoubtedly resonate with the American public. We must ensure in advance that no unelected bureaucrat is ever again permitted to accumulate such unconstitutional power.

With an Article V convention the American people, through their state legislatures, can establish fiscal responsibility, implement term limits, and impose additional checks on federal power, reining in both elected and unelected officials. To join this historic mission, sign the Convention of States petition below.

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