Gain of function
Gain of function (GoF) research is when scientists in a laboratory purposefully cause mutations that give viruses new abilities, such as transmissibility from animals to humans.
The SARS-CoV-2 virus did not occur in nature. Its genome was "inconsistent with evolutionary theory." On January 9, 2017, the Obama White House Office of Science and Technology Policy restored funding for gain-of-function research to the Wuhan Institute of Virology for research on the bat coronavirus to make the virus transmissible to humans. The funds were administered by Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the president. Fauci extended the funds, but did not gain approval from a mandatory Department of Health and Human Services review board as required first.