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IN DEFENSE OF THE ‘REALM’: State-run media attacks animal rights group for exposing Fauci’s hideous dog experiments

NIH declined to say how many of the studies it currently supports involve animals, including monkeys and dogs. NIAID has an annual budget of $6.5 billion and currently supports about 10,000 'medical studies'.

YASMEEN ABUTALEB: Anthony Fauci was swamped by so many angry messages and threats that in late October his assistant quit answering the phone for two weeks. The U.S. covid chief got 3,600 phone calls in 36 hours, just as he and other Biden administration officials were preparing for the campaign to vaccinate young children.

Much of the onslaught stemmed from a viral and false claim that the agency Fauci leads, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, had funded a medical experiment in which beagles were trapped in mesh cages filled with diseased sand flies, according to four National Institutes of Health officials familiar with the calls. The outrage was supercharged by a bipartisan letter signed by 24 members of Congress that questioned the agency’s funding of medical research on dogs.

“You worthless piece of s—, you should be put in prison. Torturing animals!” said a caller in one of 15 voice mails obtained by The Washington Post. “I’d like to take you out in the sand, tie you down, put them fleas all over your a–“…

“The constant harassment in the form of ridiculous accusations and outright lies makes doing my job and that of my staff of fighting the covid-19 pandemic all the more difficult,” Fauci, who also serves as President Biden’s chief medical adviser, said in an interview with The Post…

The wave of anger grew out of a campaign by a little-known animal rights group called the White Coat Waste Project, which leveraged existing hostility among conservatives toward Fauci to further its cause, a Post review found.

White Coat Waste has only a small fraction of the budget of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the nation’s most prominent animal-research opponent, but the group’s message was amplified by a right-wing echo chamber eager to thrash Fauci over everything from vaccine directives to NIH funding of coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, in the Chinese city where the pandemic began.

White Coat Waste was well positioned to stir conservative opposition to the trapped-beagle study, and to bring attention to five experiments that were funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, or NIAID, some of which resulted in the animals being euthanized…

Fueling much of the chatter was a heart-rending image of two beagles, their heads trapped in sand-fly-infested netting — a photo that White Coat Waste began using over the summer and has continued to use to attack Fauci in fundraising appeals even after the scientists and the journal said NIAID did not fund that study.

White Coat Waste spokesman Justin Goodman said the group does not believe NIAID’s denial, and he dismissed the journal’s correction as “too convenient.” The group has accused Fauci of “sentencing beagles to death on taxpayers’ dime”… As the attacks escalated, White Coat Waste issued a statement saying that it focuses exclusively on animal research and does not take a stand on any of Fauci’s policies regarding the pandemic…

Goodman defended the decision to capitalize on the anti-Fauci fervor that has been brewing for more than a year and a half. “When you have such a high-profile person to point the finger at for funding animal experiments, it would be malpractice for us not to do that,” he said.

The group plans to continue to focus on Fauci’s support for animal research, he said. “This is our mission. People are upset, and they should be,” Goodman said. “I haven’t seen any evidence that people aren’t wearing masks or getting vaccinated because of us”…

Goodman, the White Coat Waste spokesman, said the group’s work has been highlighted by news outlets on the left, including the Huffington Post and AlterNet. “We don’t care why people care about our issue, as long as they do something about it,” said Goodman, who used to work at PETA. “Our job is to widen the tent”… PETA spokeswoman Kathy Guillermo, who called for Fauci’s resignation during a recent interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson…

As a tax-exempt charitable organization, White Coat Waste is not required to disclose individual donors to the public. The group reported about $2.5 million in revenue last year, up from $1.4 million in 2019, according to tax filings. White Coat Waste says 78 percent of its budget comes from individuals and 18 percent from foundations. “We’ve never received a penny from any right-wing group or any GOP-affiliated group, period,” Goodman said…

After The Post first interviewed Goodman for this story, White Coat Waste claimed on social media that it was “under attack.” It accused Post reporters of preparing a “political hit job” intended to “protect Fauci.” Goodman and Bellotti made similar claims to iconoclastic journalist and animal-rights activist Glenn Greenwald, who wrote about those claims in a newsletter that he shared with his 1.7 million Twitter followers, triggering a round of coverage in the Daily Caller and other conservative publications…

NIAID has an annual budget of $6.5 billion and currently supports about 10,000 medical studies. NIH declined to say how many of the studies it currently supports involve animals, including monkeys and dogs. Public pressure to limit animal research has increased in recent decades, leading Congress to pass laws that protect against inhumane treatment and require extensive justification for the use of animals in medical experiments.

While the FDA said it is committed to reducing reliance on animal studies, the agency said such research remains necessary. Fauci declined to comment on his agency’s support for animal research but pointed to an NIAID statement that said any such research must comply with laws and regulations to ensure “the smallest possible number of subjects and the greatest commitment to their welfare”. SOURCE…

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