On Wednesday, Republican Sen. Rand Paul headed up a hearing on gain-of-function research:

Amazingly enough, it was the first Senate hearing on the topic of gain-of-function research:

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is leading the first-ever congressional hearing dedicated specifically to gain-of-function research.

The Wednesday hearing comes a week after the Kentucky senator sought to pass an amendment to a legislative package funding domestic semiconductor manufacturing that would have permanently banned all U.S. funding of gain-of-function research in China.

Despite the amendment being agreed to in earlier versions of the package, Senate Democrats objected this time around and blocked the provision.

“Gain-of-function research has historically been supported by tax dollars both domestically and internationally; as such, this hearing lies at the intersection of the subcommittee’s two primary jurisdictional responsibilities — monitoring emerging threats and conducting oversight of federal spending,” a press release from Sen. Paul’s office reads.

During the hearing, Sen. Josh Hawley had this exchange with Dr. Steven Quay, who described just how lethal the viruses that gain-of-function researchers are experimenting with can be:

Yikes!

That about says it all.