Republican lawmakers question Boston University on research creating new COVID-19 strain


Top Republican lawmakers on the House Energy and Commerce Committee sent a letter to Boston University President Robert Brown this week, requesting information about recently published research showing scientists created a new strain of COVID-19. 

Researchers with the university’s National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories (NEIDL) set out to compare the omicron variant to the original strain of COVID-19.

They created a hybrid by fusing the spike protein from the omicron variant to the original strain, then infected mice with the omicron variant, the original strain, and the new hybrid version. 

None of the mice were killed by the omicron variant, but 80% died from the new hybrid strain, and all the mice died from the original virus. 

“In K18-hACE2 mice, while Omicron causes mild, non-fatal infection, the Omicron S-carrying virus inflicts severe disease with a mortality rate of 80%,” the researchers wrote in the study, which has not been peer reviewed. 

The research was met with immediate criticism, but the university defended the study. 

“This research is not gain-of-function research, meaning it did not amplify the Washington state SARS-COV-2 virus strain or make it more dangerous. In fact, this research made the virus replicate less dangerous,” the university said in a statement last week. 


Not everyone was convinced that the research didn’t carry some risks. Steven Salzberg, a biomedical engineering professor at Johns Hopkins University, argued that the study does qualify as gain-of-function research. 

“The scientists took sequences from two different strains of the Covid-19 virus, one of which was relatively mild, and created a new strain that is far more infectious and far more deadly,” Salzberg wrote in Forbes. “As many scientists (and others) have pointed out, research like this carries great risks, foremost among them the chance that an accidental lab leak could create a new pandemic, killing millions of people.”

House Republicans are now asking Boston University for all proposal and progress reports related to the study, each of the National Institutes of Health grants referenced in the study, a list of all funding streams for the study, and a copy of the university’s safety protocols. They are also questioning whether the research needed to be approved by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. 

Boston University did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday. 

The Right Side
The Right Side
The Right Side's mission is to restore America and the vision of the founding fathers.

Share post:




Related Articles

Iran protests: 14-year-old girl repeatedly raped, killed, report says

A 14-year-old girl in Iran was reportedly raped and...

Arizona judge rules two of Kari Lake’s election challenge claims can go to trial

An Arizona judge ruled that two out of 10...

Major eco group saw large funding uptick fueled by liberal dark money network: ‘Best year ever’

The League of Conservation Voters (LCV), an influential nonprofit...

ICE training videos reveal agency lost track of 150K illegal migrants due to Biden admin’s lack of processing

EXCLUSIVE: New excerpts from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)...