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Trump’s CDC Chief Warns: Gain of Function Research Risks Bird Flu Pandemic with 50% Death Rate

Former President Donald Trump’s CDC Director,⁤ Dr. Robert Redfield, expressed increasing concern about a potential bird flu pandemic with a high mortality rate during an interview with NewsNation. Dr. Redfield emphasized that it is a matter of “when” ‍rather than “if” a bird flu pandemic will occur in humans, citing a mortality rate between 25%-50%. He pointed out ⁢that since 2019, there has been a progressive‌ increase in bird flu cases among chickens, ducks,​ and turkeys in the U.S., which has now spread to 27 different ‌mammal species in the country. Dr. Redfield’s alarm is accentuated by the fact that scientists understand how bird flu can become infectious to humans and transmit from person to person, referencing⁣ experiments​ conducted in 2012.


Former President Donald Trump’s CDC Director warned during an interview over the weekend that he is becoming increasingly concerned about a deadly bird flu pandemic erupting that will likely have a high mortality rate.

Dr. Robert Redfield said during an interview with NewsNation that he believes it’s a matter of “when” and not “if” there will be a bird flu pandemic in humans.

“Unfortunately, bird flu, when it does enter humans, has a significant mortality, probably somewhere between 25%-50% mortality,” he said. “So it’s going to be quite complicated. Since 2019, we’ve had a progressive increase in bird flu in chickens and ducks and turkeys in our country. And since then, you’ve seen it now go into a number of mammals. It’s now in 27 mammals in the United States.”

Addressing why it’s important to note the the disease is spreading to other mammals, he said: “We know exactly what has to happen for bird flu to be infectious for humans and go human-to-human. Scientists in 2012 actually did experiments in the lab using gain of function research, which I’m not in favor of, but the scientists did it. And they figured the five amino acids that have to change in the key receptor in order for bird flu, to gain a propensity to bind to the human receptor, and then be able to go human-to-human, something that obviously happened with COVID, where COVID, obviously, learned how to use the H2 receptor in humans and of course, became a very infectious virus.”

He said that bird flu will be transmitted from person to person “through aerosols and droplets”. He said that he is worried that a pandemic will happen because the virus will become contagious because of lab experiments.

“Normally, the five amino acid changes is a huge, huge species barrier,” he said. “So who knows how long that will take but as it goes into more and more different mammals, it’s changing, its use of receptors, it’s changing, it’s learning to how to use different receptors for dolphins and seals. And it’s learning how to use receptors in bears and polar bears and foxes and raccoons and cats. So it’s going through a lot of changes and it’s, as it picks up some of these new receptors, it can get closer and closer to humans.”

He said that he was concerned about the virus spreading to cattle because cattle are often in close proximity to pigs and viruses jump easily from pigs to humans.

“I’m less concerned, though, that this will happen through spillover and evolution in animals,” he said. “I’m much more concerned that this will happen in the laboratory, through gain of functional research. I can create this virus, literally in weeks to months by using gain of function research. I know exactly what amino acids I have to change because in 2012, against my recommendation, the scientists that did these experiments actually published them. So the recipe for how to make bird flu highly infectious for humans is already out there. All you have to do is look at it.”

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