A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers are demanding answers from top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci about reports that an institute under his leadership funded “cruel” drug toxicity experiments in dogs.
Fauci is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Documents show that NIAID spent $1.68 million in taxpayer funds for animal experimentation. The tests were conducted between October 2018 and February 2019 at SRI International, a research group headquartered in Menlo Park, California.
The experiment involved injecting and force-feeding 44 beagle puppies between six and eight months old with an experimental drug for several weeks, before killing and dissecting them. There also was experimentation on mice.
The documents (pdf) were obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request by the White Coat Waste Project, a nonprofit government watchdog. The watchdog said that this marks the fourth experiment on beagles funded by NIAID that it has been able to uncover.
The House members, led by Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.), called the experiment “unnecessary” in their letter to Fauci (pdf) on Oct. 21.
“While documents state that the ostensible purpose of this study was to ‘provide data of suitable quality and integrity to support the application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other regulatory agencies,’ the FDA itself has recently stated that it ‘does not mandate that human drugs be studied in dogs,’” they told Fauci.
Procedure Stops Dogs From Barking
The lawmakers also expressed horror at a procedure used in the experiment. They noted that an invoice to NIAID involved an item called a “cordectomy,” also known as devocalization or de-barking. The procedure involves slitting a dog’s vocal cords to remove its ability to bark, howl, or cry.
“This cruel procedure … seems to have been performed so that experimenters would not have to listen to the pained cries of the beagle puppies,” the 24 legislators said. “This is a reprehensible misuse of taxpayer funds.”
They asked Fauci, “Why has NIAID contracted for cordectomies when they appear to be scientifically and medically unnecessary? What is the average cost for each cordectomy performed?”
Lawmakers are also asking how many drug experiments involving dogs have been funded by NIAID since January 2018 and how much taxpayer funding has been used.
They are also asking why the NIAID continued to fund testing involving dogs when the FDA has said such tests aren’t required. “What has NIAID done to explore the use of non-canine and non-animal alternatives to meet FDA requirements?” they said.
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French President Emmanuel Macron Says Someone Who Refuses COVID Vaccine Is ‘Not a Citizen’
French president Macron’s desire to ‘piss off’ unvaccinated individuals triggers outrage
Macron spoke candidly during an interview with French newspaper Le Parisien, during which he said that he wanted to make life difficult for individuals who have not received a COVID-19 vaccine. The French “sanitary pass” has prompted a number of protests and stiff opposition while the country nears 75% full vaccination.
“I really want to piss them off, and we’ll carry on doing this – to the end,” Macron said three months ahead of a presidential election. “I won’t send [unvaccinated people] to prison, so we need to tell them, from 15 January, you will no longer be able to go to the restaurant. You will no longer be able to go for a coffee, you will no longer be able to go to the theatre. You will no longer be able to go to the cinema.”
The French Parliament heard Macron’s comments during a debate over his proposed bill to tighten restrictions for unvaccinated individuals, leading to a swift and strong uproar in response.
His opponents have labeled the comments “unworthy” of a president.
“Even if one doesn’t share their choice, they have broken none of our country’s laws,” Marine Le Pen, Macron’s chief opponent in the upcoming election, told reporters late Tuesday. “He is continuing his policy of division, of pitting the French against one another.”
She later tweeted “A president shouldn’t say that…Emmanuel Macron is unworthy of his office.”
Leftist politician Jean-Luc Melanchon described the remarks as an “astonishing confession,” according to the BBC.
But Macron’s allies have defended the comments, with Stéphane Séjourné, a member of the European Parliament, arguing on Twitter that unvaccinated individuals have “bothered” the French by “forcing the rest of the population to endure restrictions.”
Debate over Macron’s bill continue into Wednesday as opponents still seek to delay its passage. Some of his supporters claimed to have received death threats because they are backing the legislation, The New York Times reported.
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