Lawmakers fire off bipartisan letter demanding Fauci provide answers about ‘cruel’ beagle experiments

A letter sent to Dr. Anthony Fauci by a bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) demands answers regarding a report from a nonprofit group alleging his agency, the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, funded “cruel” research involving beagle puppies.

“Yesterday, I sent a letter to Dr. Fauci regarding cruel, taxpayer-funded experiments on puppies; debarking before drugging and killing them. Thankful to my 23 democrat and republican colleagues who signed on. This is disgusting,” Mace noted in a Twitter post containing a screenshot of the letter.

Mace and the other lawmakers sent the letter to Fauci, who also serves as the Biden administration’s chief medical adviser, following a discovery by a nonprofit group called the White Coat Waste Project that taxpayer money was used to fund the experiments, which involved infecting dozens of beagles with parasites that cause disease so as to test experimental drugs.

The same group had previously uncovered evidence noting that American taxpayers were also funding research at China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology, the site where some have speculated the COVID-19 virus was developed and accidentally leaked.

According to reports, the group found that at least 44 beagle pups have been used for experiments in a lab in the North African nation of Tunisia where some of them had their vocal cords removed, allegedly so that researchers could conduct their studies without constant barking.

The Mace-led letter called the cordectomies “cruel” as well as a “reprehensible misuse of taxpayer funds.”

“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,” officials with the nonprofit told The Hill. “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.”

According to the outlet, lawmakers who signed the letter include: Reps. Cindy Axne (D-Iowa), Cliff Bentz (R-Ore.), Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), Rick Crawford (R-Ark.), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), Scott Franklin (R-Fla.), Andrew Garbarino (R-N.Y.), Carlos Gimenez (R-Fla.), Jimmy Gomez (D-Calif.), Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), Fred Keller (R-Pa.), Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), Lisa McClain (R-Mich.), Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.), Brian Mast (R-Fla.), Scott Perry (R-Pa.), Bill Posey (R-Fla.), Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.), Maria E. Salazar (R-Fla.), Terri Sewell (D-Ala.), Daniel Webster (R-Fla.) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.).

“We write with grave concerns about reports of costly, cruel, and unnecessary taxpayer-funded experiments on dogs commissioned by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases,” the letter said.

Other reports noted that in total, Fauci’s agency spent a total of $1.68 million on research utilizing beagles at the Tunisia facility.

“The dogs were all between six and eight months old. The commissioned tests involved injecting and force-feeding the puppies an experimental drug for several weeks, before killing and dissecting them,” the letter continued.

“Of particular concern is the fact that the invoice to NIAID included a line item for ‘cordectomy.’ As you are likely aware, a cordectomy, also known as ‘devocalization,’ involves slitting a dog’s vocal cords in order to prevent them from barking, howling, or crying,” the letter continued.

“This cruel procedure – which is opposed with rare exceptions by the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Animal Hospital Association, and others – seems to have been performed so that experimenters would not have to listen to the pained cries of the beagle puppies. This is a reprehensible misuse of taxpayer funds,” the lawmakers noted further, adding that, according to the White Coat Waste Project, similar experiments were taking place at other locations around the world.

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Jon Dougherty

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