Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said White House chief medical advisor Anthony Fauci “needs to be held accountable” for funds distributed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) toward abusive animal experiments and gain-of-function research Monday.
Fauci has been under fire in recent days after the NIAID admitted in a Oct. 21 letter that they funded gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). A bipartisan group of 24 congressional lawmakers requested information from the chief medical advisor on the funding for experimental drug tests on beagles since January 2018 in an Oct. 21 letter.
DeSantis said that the NIAID should have been banned from the funding and that American tax dollars needs to be distributed to ethical research rather than “abusing puppies” and gain-of-function research. (RELATED: Fauci-Led Agency Funded Abusive Animal Experiments Promising To Kill Dozens Of Beagles)
“You can’t have mad scientists running around playing God like this and then come to find out what else is Fauci and NIH doing? They’re doing cruel experiments on puppies. What they were doing with those puppies is flat-out disgusting, it’s despicable, that needs to stop,” the Florida governor said.
“I cannot believe that American tax dollars would go to treat those dogs the way those dogs are treated and I really think Fauci needs to be held accountable.”
Documents released via a Freedom of Information Act request by watchdog taxpayer group White Coat Waste Project revealed that the NIAID funded $1.68 million in taxpayer dollars towards drug tests on 44 beagle puppies. The experiments involved beagles being force fed or injected with an experimental drug, then being euthanized or dissected. Dozens of beagles died as a result of the experiments.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it does not require that human drugs be tested on dogs. Despite this, the National Institute of Health (NIH) documents stated that the experiments were done to “support application” to the FDA.
Fauci continuously denied that the NIH funded gain-of-function research in Wuhan to develop and experiment with different variations of coronaviruses in 2019. He defended the funding by saying it went towards searching for viruses that could potentially infect humans and that his only regret is that the research causes “a distraction.”
“Well, the only regret is that, what it has caused right now, is such a degree of distraction of trying to do what we really should be doing, is addressing the outbreak,” Fauci previously said. “And what we did, and did quite successfully, was to develop vaccines that have now been lifesaving.”