This is a pretty big surprise in a week where discussion of whether the coronavirus leaked from a lab where NIH-funded, gain-of-function research may have been taking place in violation of United States policy:
When RealClearPolitics asked Monday if President Biden thought gain of function was “prudent,” John Kirby, the president’s National Security Council spokesman, replied that he did.
“He believes that it’s important to help prevent future pandemics, which means he understands that there has to be legitimate scientific research into the sources or potential sources of pandemics so that we understand it so that we can prevent them and we prevent them from happening obviously,” Kirby said.
He added that the president believed any such research “must be done in a safe and secure manner and as transparent as possible to the rest of the world.”
To sum up, Kirby then told RCP, “I think that’s a fancy way of saying ‘yes.’”
This is either a blunder or a cynical attempt to lean hard into lab leak in order to draw attention away from today’s hearing on COVID policy blunders in the House Oversight Subcommittee on the Coronavirus.