Bird Flu, Fear, and Perverse Incentives

Source: Brownstone Institute
by David Bell

“Covid-19 has proven the business case for gain-of-function research. It looks increasingly likely that some genetic fiddling really did succeed in moving a bat coronavirus into humans, where it is more amenable to monetization (there is no profit in sick bats, or fear of them). Importantly, despite the broad economic and health catastrophe that followed, those behind the program are continuing much the same work, and not being held to account. There is vast profit with little or no real risk. However, what the Covid episode really demonstrated is the financial and political gains that can be achieved irrespective of outbreak severity.” (06/10/24)