Avian Bird Flu, New Strains of the Flu Virus: 
Let’s Fight Global Pandemics by Maybe Starting One?

By <>Thomas Gaulkin
Global Research, June 26, 2019
of the Atomic Scientists 23 May 2019

Feed a cold, starve a fever … mutate the flu?

A couple of labs in Wisconsin and The Netherlands 
have been given the green light to do 
controversial work with a deadly strain of avian 
flu that kills two thirds of the people it infects.

The scientific community and US government 
declared a moratorium on the experiments in 2014. 
Why? Because the virus has generally been 
confined to birds, and these labs are trying to 
make it transmissible to mammals. On purpose.

The researchers say making new strains of the 
H5N1 flu virus in a secure lab can help them see 
what might happen naturally in the real world. 
Sounds logical, but many scientists oppose it 
because the facts show most biosafety labs 
really secure at all, and experts say the risks 
of a mutated virus escaping outweigh whatever 
public health benefit comes from creating them.

But now the US government is funding these same 
labs again to artificially enhance potentially pandemic pathogens.


In this installment of the Bulletin’s video 
series that provides a sharp view of fuzzy 
policy, Johns Hopkins University computational 
biologist Steven Salzberg explains why arguments 
by researchers in favor of risky viral research aren’t persuasive.

Thomas Gaulkin is multimedia editor of the 
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Joining the 
Bulletin in 2018, he spent the previous decade 
working in communications at the University of 
Chicago, first for the Centers for International 
Studies and International Social Science 
Research, and later as Director of News and 
Online Content for the Division of the Social 
Sciences. From 1999-2002 and again in 2006 
Gaulkin produced Worldview, Chicago Public 
Radio’s daily global affairs program. He received 
a BA with honors in political science from the University of Chicago.

Lifts the Ban on Funding “The Creation of Lethal Viruses”
The original source of this article is 
of the Atomic Scientists
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of the Atomic Scientists, 2019

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