Woke virology? Ron DeSantis finds another thing to ban in Florida

By Matt Field | May 12, 2023

Ron DeSantis talking. Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis at an event where he signed a bill to ban research on so-called "enhanced potential pandemic pathogens."

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has made a national name for himself by inserting his state’s government into charged issues like classroom discussions of sexual orientation and social-justice-oriented education. Widely seen to be eying a presidential campaign, DeSantis now has a new target: enhanced potential pandemic pathogen research.

On Thursday, the governor signed a host of bills on hot-button issues-of-the-day among Republican politicians and voters, including one that would prevent research involving potentially pandemic capable viruses that result from “enhancing the transmissibility or virulence of a pathogen.” The US Department of Health and Human Services is reviewing recommendations to tighten its requirements for funding such projects, known colloquially as “gain of function” research, but DeSantis has now leapfrogged any federal decision.

“We are the first state in the United States to ban, formally, gain of function research,” DeSantis said to cheers from a Florida audience.

According to the law, “any research that is reasonably likely to create an enhanced potential pandemic pathogen or that has been determined by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, another federal agency, or a state agency…to create such a pathogen is prohibited in this state.”

Biomedical research is a hot topic among Republicans as the Republican-controlled House investigates the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic. One theory holds that laboratory research in Wuhan, China—which included projects partially funded with US research dollars to analyze hybrid bat coronaviruses—was responsible for the emergence of the pandemic. The so-called “lab-leak” theory, however, is far from proven fact, with many scientists ascribing to the other leading hypothesis for how the pandemic began, with the spillover of the COVID-19 coronavirus at a market selling wildlife.

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Gain-of-function pathogen research is controversial and widespread. Can it be regulated?

But the scientific uncertainty regarding the origins of the pandemic didn’t deter DeSantis from expressing confidence in the lab leak theory. “What we know is there was gain of function research being conducted at Wuhan, and that very likely led to the emergence of COVID-19,” DeSantis said. “And yet there really isn’t effective regulation.”


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Bambee
Bambee
9 months ago

WHAT NEEDS TO BE BANNED IS DESANTIS. HE NEEDS TO GO.

Mary
Mary
9 months ago

DeSantis means we are the first state in the United States to ban science

Charles Forsberg
Charles Forsberg
9 months ago

There are somewhere near a million meat markets in China and a similar number outside China in Southeast Asia. If Covid-19 came in from the wild, it could have shown up anywhere. It showed up in the same town as the Chinese Level IV virus lab. While it is possible Covid-19 came from an imported animal, the most likely scenario is a laboratory leak by somebody walking out of the lab and spreading to the market. Neither we nor the Chinese may ever know for sure where it came from. What can be said is that it is insane to… Read more »

Ravens
Ravens
9 months ago

Hopefully. DeSantis will fall off the edge of his flat Earth. What a schmuck.

Dr. J w Berry
Dr. J w Berry
9 months ago

Without xuch research, it is impossible to develop defences including vaccines. Is de Santis an enemy agent, or simply a moron? Either way, he is a major security risk…..

Barry Kissin
Barry Kissin
9 months ago

The Bulletin used to be progressive. Since then it has sold its soul in order to be acceptable to the current miserable, corrupt national security morass. This article is a good example of this trend. By now, it is quite clear that COVID was created in gain-of-function projects funded by DARPA and NIAID at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. “Spillover at a market selling wildlife” is baseless cover-up. Of course gain-of-function, essentially a bioweapons technology, must be banned. I don’t care by whom.

Dave Chapman
Dave Chapman
9 months ago

Gain-of-Function research is, in fact, extremely dangerous.
It is foolish to criticize this ban just because DeSantis supports it.

John Wefel
John Wefel
9 months ago

Be prepared ….. the DeSantis Bio-police are coming. He has to go after a few people to show how ‘tuff’ he is. If I were a Bio-researcher or virologist in FL, I’d look very carefully at how my research could be mis-characterized into a FL ‘threat’. It might also be prudent to dust off the resume and see if there are better places to work. You might find one and maybe even be able to take some of your grants with you. Good Luck

Jon Schultz
9 months ago

Good for DeSantis. It’s a shame your organization doesn’t recognize the brilliance and integrity of Dr. Robert Malone, among many other scientists who are speaking out against the medical-industrial complex. DeSantis does.

Josh
Josh
9 months ago

But wait, I thought Covid was “not that bad, fake, a hoax, god’s work”, etc? Oh, that’s right, fascists never have coherent or consistent talking points. Maybe we shouldn’t let them be governors, or anything else important for that matter.

Last edited 9 months ago by Josh
Amy
Amy
9 months ago

I agree 100% with DeSantis, this isn’t a game it is a existential threat to humanity, in fact there is evidence of Potentially Pandemic Pathogens (PPPs) leaking from level 4 Bio-laboratories (Laboratory Escapes and “Self-fulfilling prophecy” Epidemics By: Martin Furmanski MD) which caused real world outbreaks. The benefit of “gain-of-function (GOF)” research, so far, does not outweigh the potential harm and/or threat to human existence. Until Scientists can give a 99.99% reassurance that lab leaks will not occur from their research then they should be banned. The argument that GOF research is needed in order to develop vaccines as a… Read more »

Gary
9 months ago

I am a native Floridian, 67, and have lived here all my life. I have never seen such a governor as this, even among all the Republicans. They were bad enough, with Jeb Bush removing the state vehicle inspection stations from our largest polluting cities. But now we live in Desanistan, and it sure feels like it. DeSantis operates from fear. He wants to scare us. He absolutely is a fascist. His supporters think he “gets things done” and “that’s why we need him in Washington.” But HE HAS HAD THE LUXURY OF A SUPER MAJORITY IN THE STATE LEGISLATURE… Read more »

Theory of Bipolar Society
Theory of Bipolar Society
9 months ago

Lab Leak or Wet Market?

Why couldn’t both could be true? SARs-COV-2 was a “dual use” bio-weapon/vaccine germ candidate funded by Dr. Fauci (according to Sen. Rand Paul.) Instead of incinerating infected lab animals, in Asia, they wind up in the food supply. Wet Market was only 8 miles away. Just too much temptation for a poor janitor with 8 kids to feed.

Last edited 9 months ago by Theory of Bipolar Society

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