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Rand Paul fighting to ensure dangerous virus research doesn’t receive U.S. funding

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Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is fighting SB 1260 which calls for an increase in scientific research funding, by introducing an amendment to ensure gain of function research is banned from receiving any government funds. He’s sponsoring this move after reports that the coronavirus may have originated from Wuhan’s Institute of Virology lab.

“We don’t know whether the pandemic started in a lab in Wuhan or evolved naturally,” Paul said in a statement. “While Washington bureaucrats deny funding gain-of-function research in Wuhan, experts believe otherwise. My amendment will ensure that this never happens in the future.”

Paul took to the Senate floor for the second time Tuesday to promote his amendment. In the meanwhile, he also pointed out the National Science Foundation’s wasteful spending.

“We spend about $8 billion a year with the National Science Foundation,” Paul said. “This bill’s going to increase their funding by 68% . . . don’t you think the American people deserve to know where their money is being spent?” He started with an example from the National Institute of Health, a sister organization to NSF. They spent over $800k to study the sexual promiscuity of Japanese Quails.

And the list goes on. Every poster he shared on the floor he also tweeted out online. He shared studies that cost anywhere from $30,000 to $1.5 million just to study inconsequential animal behaviors.

“We should not reward these people with more money,” Paul said. But, most importantly, “There’s a great deal of circumstantial evidence now that NIH money went to the Wuhan Virology Institute,” Paul said. So, he made his amendment because “the entire world’s economy” is at stake.

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism

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College to begin offering abortion pill on campus

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Barnard College, a partner campus of Columbia University, will be rolling out a plan in May that involves supplying students with abortion pills, the Columbia Spectator reported. The plan to provide the abortion service in the form of mifepristone abortion pills to students was initially announced in the fall of 2022 after the overturning of Roe. V Wade, according to the Spectator. However, the rollout’s delay has been partially attributed to an August 2023 grant the college received, which allowed Barnard to join a large network of primary care providers that will help steer the college through the procedures.

The Daily Caller News Foundation reports Barnard’s Primary Care Health Service will host student focus groups in upcoming weeks to find out student perspectives about the service and to identify new ways to support students considering abortion. “We wanted to make sure that we’re addressing this from every angle that will be supportive of students,” Sarah Ann Anderson-Burnett, director of Medical Services and Quality Improvement of Barnard, told the Spectator. Anderson-Burnett also said it has expanded the availability of its abortion providers to after-hours and year-round.

Barnard has six medical professionals, including two physicians and four nurse practitioners, who are capable of performing the procedure, Mariana Catallozzi, vice president for Health and Wellness and chief health officer of Barnard, told the Spectator. The school also launched a partnership with AccessNurse, a medical call center that will assist with patient concerns related to abortions.

“The training doesn’t end with the clinicians,” Anderson-Burnett told the Spectator. “Clinicians are trained on the actual provision, but there’s also an overall training that will be provided to key partners and stakeholders across the campus because we want every step, every touchpoint, to be supportive and to be trauma-informed and to be patient-valued and centered but also respect confidentiality and privacy.”

The University of Massachusetts Amherst spent more than $650,000 to stock abortion pills in March 2023 at the request of Democratic Maryland Gov. Maura Healey. Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a bill in May 2023 forcing college in the state to stock abortion pills on campus.

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