Biden Admin to Exclude Avian Influenza, COVID-19 From Risky Research Rules

President Joe Biden’s administration has proposed updated rules governing risky research, excluding avian influenza and current forms of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

The new “United States Government Policy for Oversight of Dual Use Research of Concern and Pathogens with Enhanced Pandemic Potential” defines which research would require a formal risk-benefit assessment by U.S. officials before being conducted.

The research can involve creating, transferring, or altering a pathogen of pandemic potential (PPP).

As of May, SARS-CoV-2 is not considered a PPP “because of the development of vaccines and other effective medical countermeasures, as well as the rise of population immunity,” the National Science and Technology Council, which is part of the Executive Office of the President of the United States, said in guidance for the updated policy.

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