The National Institutes of Health (NIH) deleted a webpage from 2004 detailing research into vaccine efficacy against the monkeypox virus which included Anthony Fauci praising the findings as “important” and referencing a potential “bioterror threat involving smallpox.”
The webpage can be accessed through an archived version of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) website, which reveals a press release from March 10th, 2004: “Effectiveness of Safer Smallpox Vaccine Demonstrated Against Monkeypox.”
When accessed, the link currently prompts users with the message “the page you’re looking for isn’t available.”
The unearthed webpage comes amidst an ongoing global outbreak of monkeypox cases, already causing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to recommend masks during travel.
The deleted webpage detailed a study on a “mild, experimental smallpox vaccine known as modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA)” and how it is “nearly as effective as the standard smallpox vaccine in protecting monkeys against monkeypox.” Monkeypox was the pathogen of choice for the study “because of its similarity to the smallpox virus,” explained the NIH press release.
The study was conducted by researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the NIH agency led by Fauci. This agency has previously come under scrutiny for funding bat coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which many public health experts and intelligence officials believe to be the source of COVID-19.
“These findings are important to the search for a replacement vaccine for people with health conditions that would prevent them from using the current smallpox vaccine,” said Fauci in response to the study, which reportedly found that an MVA injection in conjunction with a Dryvax injection yielded better coverage than Dryvax alone.
“In addition, because an initial MVA injection may help lessen the side effects experienced from Dryvax, MVA may serve as an important pre-vaccine for large-scale vaccination efforts in the event of a bioterror threat involving smallpox,” he added.
Fauci was reacting to the study “Immunogenicity of a Highly Attenuated MVA Smallpox Vaccine and Protection Against Monkeypox,” whose abstract also warns of the “potential use of smallpox as a biological weapon”:
“The potential use of smallpox as a biological weapon has led to the production and stockpiling of smallpox vaccine and the immunization of some healthcare workers.”
The study’s abstract continues, describing “another public health goal is the licensing of a safer vaccine” to treat smallpox:
As vaccines can no longer be tested for their ability to prevent smallpox, licensing will necessarily include comparative immunogenicity and protection studies in non-human primates. Here we compare the highly attenuated modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) with the licensed Dryvax vaccine in a monkey model.
The deleted study follows The National Pulse unearthing the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s recent research assembling strains of the monkeypox virus to be able to conduct PCR tests. It also comes amidst the NIAID administering a $10 million grant to fund research into additional cures for monkeypox shortly before the current outbreak began.