Dr. Anthony Fauci is facing calls from a bipartisan group of legislators to respond to allegations that his National Institutes of Health division provided a grant to a lab in Tunisia to torture and kill dozens of beagle puppies for twisted scientific experiments.
In a letter to the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, South Carolina Rep. Nancy Mace and 23 colleagues addressed their “grave concerns about reports of costly, cruel, and unnecessary taxpayer-funded experiments on dogs.”
“According to documents obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request by taxpayer watchdog group White Coat Waste Project, and subsequent media coverage from October 2018 until February 2019, NIAID spent $1.68 million in taxpayer funds on drug tests involving 44 beagle puppies,” the letter on Thursday reads.
The White Coat Waste Project report claimed that the researchers locked the dogs in cages with hungry sandflies so that the insects could eat them alive.
Some of the pooches were also allegedly injected with disease-causing parasites.
“The commissioned tests involved injecting and force-feeding the puppies an experimental drug for several weeks, before killing and dissecting them,” lawmakers wrote.
The bipartisan group also raised concerns about allegations that scientists slit dogs’ vocal cords so that they wouldn’t bark during the experiments.
“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 letter said.
In addition to Mace, the letter was signed by 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-NY), among others.