In the process, he exposed some fateful developments, largely unreported by the press, that occurred in the weeks before former President Barack Obama handed over the reins to his successor.
Heretofore, Obama appeared throughout his presidency (at least publicly) to be leery of the risks associated with GOF research. His concern grew after a series of “biosafety incidents” had occurred at government research facilities. And in October 2014, his administration announced a pause on all funding of GOF research, during which they would conduct an assessment of its “potential risks and benefits.”
This “deliberative process” ended on Jan. 9, 2017, when the White House Office of Science and Technology set in motion the events that would lift the moratorium on funding later that year.7
“Today, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) is releasing ‘Recommended Policy Guidance for Departmental Development of Review Mechanisms for Potential Pandemic Pathogen Care and Oversight (P3CO).’ Adoption of these recommendations will satisfy the requirements for lifting the current moratorium on certain life sciences research that could enhance a pathogen’s virulence and/or transmissibility to produce a potential pandemic pathogen (an enhanced PPP). [Emphasis added.]
Issuance of this policy guidance concludes the deliberative process launched in October 2014 by OSTP and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).”
This stunning announcement received little or no press coverage. By that time, the media’s obsession with taking down Trump and painting him as an agent of Russia was dominating the news cycle.