First Senate Hearing on Gain of Function Research Since Start of Pandemic

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Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) are leading the first congressional hearing on gain-of-function research as part of his ongoing efforts to investigate the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic. The hearing is scheduled at 2:30 p.m. ET on Aug. 3. Access the livestream on this page.

The hearing comes amid intensifying Republican scrutiny on whether a leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) caused the pandemic, as well as possible U.S. funding ties to the gain-of-function research at the facility. Gain-of-function involves enhancing a virus to make it more potent or transmissible.

Titled “Revisiting Gain-of-Function Research: What the Pandemic Taught Us and Where Do We Go From Here,” the hearing will be held by the Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Spending Oversight, of which Hassan and Paul are chair and ranking member respectively.

Member Statements

Chair Margaret Wood Hassan (D-N.H.)
Ranking Member Rand Paul (R-Ky.)

Witnesses

Richard H. Ebright, PhD
Laboratory Director, Waksman Institute of Microbiology
Rutgers University

Steven Quay, MD, PhD
Chief Executive Officer
Atossa Therapeutics, Inc.

Kevin M. Esvelt, PhD
Assistant Professor of Media Arts and Sciences
MIT Media Lab

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