Members of Congress are demanding answers from President Joe Biden’s National Institutes of Health in a letter obtained by the Washington Examiner on Thursday regarding the agency’s taxpayer-funded “cruel dog tests.”
Some have criticized the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and its National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which was led by outgoing chief White House physician Dr. Anthony Fauci, for their use of dogs and other animals in research.
Fauci canceled the NIAID’s $2 million puppy tests due to pressure from Congress and the White Coat Waste Project, a watchdog group. Now, 10 Republican and Democratic lawmakers are demanding information from the NIH about its testing operations and the canceled puppy tests.
Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC), who introduced legislation in December 2021 to defund dog testing at Fauci’s NIAID, told the Washington Examiner that
“Americans across the political spectrum have been horrified to learn their tax dollars are being wasted to subsidize NIH’s barbaric experiments on beagle puppies.” I am pleased to be at the head of a cross-party group working to uncover the truth about the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) canine experimentation scandal and bring those responsible to justice.
National Institute Of Allergy And Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci
According to documents obtained by the White Coat Waste Project, by the end of July, the NIAID intended to conduct tests on dogs, including puppies, as well as rats and mice to determine whether or not the drug was effective in treating hay fever. In June, Republican Iowa Senator Joni Ernst asked the NIH for details on the testing, and NIH Director Anthony Fauci responded by saying that animals, including dogs, are not participating in the study.
In a letter to Ernst in July, Fauci explained that the company had decided to proceed with only two rodent models despite the fact that “the contract with Inimmune Corporation called for the use of preclinical animal models in mice and dogs.” A dog will not be used as a subject in any experiments related to this agreement.
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The FDA’s website states that cosmetic and drug testing on animals is not required by the FDA. According to Freedom of Information Act requests made by the White Coat Waste Project, the NIAID under Fauci has used public funds to conduct experiments on dogs that were “bitten to death by flies,” poisoned, deprived of vocal cords, and tortured in other countries.
Mace and the legislators who signed Thursday’s letter explaining how they have continued to lobby on the issue of using dogs in research.
In February, more than a dozen lawmakers voiced concern over the use of dogs to detect cocaine. These studies cost the NIH $2.3 million and involved injecting the Schedule II drug into male beagles.
The members wrote in their letter that “other federal agencies,
” such as the Food and Drug Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Veterans Affairs, “have already made commendable efforts to curb testing on dogs and other animals.”
“Therefore, the NIH stands out among its peers because of its lack of a clear strategy to reduce inefficient and painful testing on dogs,” they continued. Given the NIH’s repeated statements about the wastefulness of animal testing, this is especially noteworthy.
In light of the controversy surrounding the NIH’s decision to spend $1.8 million on a contract that will involve the use of dogs to study hay fever, members of Congress are demanding answers. They also want to know how much money and how many dogs the NIH has spent on testing potential new drugs over the past five years.
Members are also curious about the specific “incentives” the NIH is offering contractors and Scholarship holders to avoid animal testing, as well as whether or not the NIH has met with the FDA to discuss ways to reduce drug testing on dogs and “use alternative testing methods to meet regulatory requirements.”
The letter was also read by Deputies Greg Steube (R-FL), Mike Garcia (R-CA), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Brian Mast (R-FL), Bill Posey (R-FL), and Young Kim, in addition to Mace.
Bats And Viruses? Science Experiments On Puppies? Analysis Of Recent Accusations Against Dr. Fauci
There has been a recent onslaught of conservative-led criticism directed at Dr. Anthony Fauci, claiming that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which he has led for decades, has funded questionable coronavirus research in China as well as unnecessary experiments on dogs. Here, we examine the new claims, both outrageous and less so, and the evidence that supports them.
Fauci has been the director of NIAID (a division of the NIH) since 1984, but he only became widely known after the spread of Covid-19, and conservatives have criticized his advocacy for public health measures like mask use and social isolation.
His disagreements with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky) over NIH funding for bat virus research in Wuhan date back several months. Of particular note, during an explosive hearing in July, Paul accused Fauci of lying about whether or not this work involved gain-of-function methods, and Fauci insisted that the NIH has not funded gain-of-function research in Wuhan.
The field of gain-of-function study is not well-defined, and its practitioners’ motivations are hotly debated. While some researchers see it as a promising method for foretelling the course of certain viruses, others are concerned about the potential biosafety risks associated with modifying viruses.
Gain-of-function studies for certain viruses were halted by the NIH in 2014; three years later, they were reopened, but with increased scrutiny for any experiments that might increase pathogens’ effectiveness against humans.
The NIH claimed in a letter sent last week to Republican members of the House Oversight Committee that the Wuhan research, which examined different coronaviruses, did not need to adhere to these additional rules because the bat viruses under study were not known to infect people.
EcoHealth Alliance “failed to report this finding right away,” according to the NIH’s letter to Republicans, which also stated that the organization was obligated to report any increase in disease for its experiment above a certain threshold.
Collins, head of the National Institutes of Health, told the Washington Post that the team “messed up here,” despite the fact that the results weren’t catastrophic.
However, a representative for EcoHealth, named Robert Kessler, told Forbes that the company believes these claims were a “misconception about the grant’s reporting requirements” and that it had already reported the data in question to the NIH in 2018.