The opinion piece by Benjamin Weingarten [“11 Critical Questions Now That the Lab Leak Theory Is ‘Politically Correct,'” published in the June 2–8 edition] could have gone one baby step further with regard to “politically correct.” “Gain-of-function” in viral research ever seeks a resultant that is far more contagious and lethal than the native strain. We always use this euphemism in describing what is plainly biological warfare with a weaponized virus. Gain-of-function is as bad as saying mustard gas is good on hot dogs. Even if there might be legitimate scientific reasons for such investigation, the Chinese Communist Party, in full control of everything, would rejoice in having such an arrow in its quiver, but its cover was blown by the near-miss of just a pandemic; in other words, it could have been far worse, especially if aerosolized with military intent with only one country having foreknowledge sufficient to develop protection or vaccine. Except for intelligence gathering, we shouldn’t be a country mile from such activity, let alone helping to sponsor it.
Charles P. Duvall, MD