Dr. Fauci blasts Sen. Rand Paul in a sassy exchange

I hadn’t heard about this new buzzword in the conservative media ecosystem. So I googled “gain of function definition” (actually just ‘gain o’ and the drop down suggestions had that term at fewest click distance.
So, the very first google result, before wikipedia, was an antivaxx site all dolled up as a serious medical consortium made up of insiders. Depressing.

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Unfortunately being in Congress and lying isn’t a crime, or otherwise Paul would be totally screwed.

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I’m sure my right wing nut job friends will be sharing that clip but title it…

Watch Fauci get owned by Rand Paul.

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Great control. I probably would have neighbored his ass ages ago.

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This is why I just roll my eyes at clips with the title of “X humiliates X” or “So in so DESTROYS X” because the shit never changes any minds. It was fun for a time but I just hit a level of I can’t even these days.

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“Hitler Destroys Critic!”

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I definitely came here for that.

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ezgif.com-gif-maker

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The National Science Advisory Board for Biiosecurity has defined “Gain of Function research of concern”, and research that falls into that category is more closely monitored

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE EVALUATION AND OVERSIGHT OF PROPOSED GAIN-OF- FUNCTION RESEARCH May 2016
See Appendix C for examples of reasearchg proposals that fall within the GOFROC criteria.

Recently, the phrase “gain-of-function research” has become synonymous with certain studies that enhance the ability of pathogens to cause disease. However, gain-of-function studies, as well as loss- of-function studies, are common in molecular microbiology and are essential to understanding molecular pathogenesis of infectious diseases. Changes to the genome of an organism, whether naturally occurring or directed through experimental manipulations in the laboratory, can result in altered phenotypes, as biological functions are lost or gained. Investigators routinely conduct loss- and gain-of-function experiments to understand the complex nature of host-pathogen interactions that underlie transmission, infection, and pathogenesis.

The term “gain-of-function” is generally used to refer to changes resulting in the acquisition of new, or an enhancement of existing, biological phenotypes. This report further defines “gain-of- function research of concern” to describe the subset of studies that have been the subject of recent debate and have raised potential biosafety and biosecurity implications. These are gain-of- function studies with the potential to generate pathogens with pandemic potential in humans by exhibiting high transmissibility and high virulence. See Section 6 for a more rigorous description of GOF research of concern (GOFROC).

Rand has a nebulous, more paranoid definition, but that’s not a definition that controls, or can control US policy.

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Care to elaborate to a white male what that means?

To add some context, Paul is obviously trying to revive a de-bunked conspiracy theory for his mouth-breathing supporters with this question.

A case of common (but controversial) research into “gain of function” was blown up into supposed “evidence” in a particularly stupid right-wing conspiracy theory wherein Fauci and the NIH directly funded research at the Wuhan lab that supposedly engineered COVID-19 before it allegedly leaked.

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Not so sure that paranoid and truthy definitions of complex things ‘cannot’ control US policy. We have conspiracy theorists in the most powerful positions of US government (US House of Representatives) and we have situations such as states canceling all vaccine outreach to young people because of antivaxx hype. We lost funding for planned parenthood in many states after a similar confusion about stem cell research with some lines derived from fetal tissue. This shit does move the needle and so it is relevant when there is a new boogeyman being talked about in the senate no less.

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Stop shaking your head in disgust, raise your fist in anger.

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Rand is just doing with “gain of function” the same thing that the entire right-wing media structure is doing with “critical race theory”. The terms only have meaning within a particular field of study. When used outside of that field they have no meaning so each person hearing it is free to imbue them with whatever meaning it wants.

I’m reminded of Steven King in an old interview explaining that the way to really scare a reader is to get them to make up all the details themselves.

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It’s understandable why Rand’s neighbor beat the shit out of him.

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This is the same thing that happened when Dr. Fauci used the term “sterilizing immunity” in relation to covid vaccination programs. In his world, that has a specific meaning little known outside of that area, and thus was ripe for RWNJ’s to imbue with “scary scary threats of vaccination” meanings.

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And now Rand Paul says he is making a criminal referral to the DoJ against Dr Fauci for lying to Congress.

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Oh, please, let’s make a criminal issue out of everyone who has lied to congress! Please!

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I mean, the NIH funded some sort of work at a virus laboratory in China. I just wonder why the heck we are funding things like that at all? Let’s just have the Department of Agriculture fund nerve agent pesticides in Russian labs now.

Health organizations work across national boundaries all the time. And there is a perfectly legitimate reason to do so - disease doesn’t respect national boundaries.

But sure… let’s lean into conspiracy theories… /s

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