UPDATE: Journal Retracts Report that NIH Partially Funded Research of Insects Eating Beagles Alive

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 13: A pair of Beagles rest on a bench on the final day of Cruf
Ben Pruchnie/Getty

UPDATE: The report which sparked this letter has been corrected. “The US National Institutes of Health and the Wellcome Trust did not provide any funding for this research and any such claim was made in error,” reads a note from the publisher. The original article based on the erroneous information has been preserved below, but the headline of this article has been updated.

Reports that Dr. Anthony Fauci’s division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) partially funded an experiment of insects eating beagle puppies alive has sparked bipartisan outrage on Capitol Hill.

Responding to a report from the non-profit organization White Coat Waste Project, both Democrats and Republicans signed a letter this week demanding to know why the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases – one of the 27 institutes under the NIH – partially funded an experiment that locked beagles’ heads in cages while hordes of hungry sandflies ate them alive.

According to the Hill, the beagles were infected with “disease-causing parasites to test an experimental drug on them.” The experiment transpired in a Tunisia, North Africa laboratory where as many as 44 beagle puppies endured what Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) referred to as a “cruel” and “reprehensible misuse of taxpayer funds.”

WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 18: Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director at the National Institute Of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a hearing with the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, on the Covid-19 response, on Capitol Hill on March 18, 2021 in Washington, DC. Dr. Anthony Fauci appeared before a joint hearing of the house committees to lay out a timeline for vaccinating children against COVID-19. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images)

To eliminate incessant barking, the beagle puppies also had their vocal cords removed.

“Our investigators show that Fauci’s NIH division shipped part of a $375,800 grant to a lab in Tunisia to drug beagles and lock their heads in mesh cages filled with hungry sand flies so that the insects could eat them alive,” White Coat Waste told Changing America. “They also locked beagles alone in cages in the desert overnight for nine consecutive nights to use them as bait to attract infectious sand flies.”

The White Coat Waste Project claims that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require drugs to be tested on dogs.

The following lawmakers signed Rep. Mace’s letter:

  1. Reps. Cindy Axne (D-IA)
  2. Cliff Bentz (R-OR)
  3. Steve Cohen (D-TN)
  4. Rick Crawford (R-AK)
  5. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA)
  6. Scott Franklin (R-FL)
  7. Andrew Garbarino (R-N.Y.)
  8. Carlos Gimenez (R-FL)
  9. Jimmy Gomez (D-CA)
  10. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.)
  11. Fred Keller (R-PA)
  12. Ted Lieu (D-CA)
  13. Lisa McClain (R-MI)
  14. Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.)
  15. Brian Mast (R-FL)
  16. Scott Perry (R-PA)
  17. Bill Posey (R-FL)
  18. Mike Quigley (D-IL)
  19. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA)
  20. Maria E. Salazar (R-FL)
  21. Terri Sewell (D-AL)
  22. Daniel Webster (R-FL)
  23. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.)

Neither Dr. Anthony Fauci nor the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has responded to the White Coat Waste Project report.

This past week, a letter from NIH to House Oversight Committee Ranking Member James Comer (R-KY) showed that the institute did fund gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology through a grant awarded to Eco-Health Alliance.


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