North Carolina Republican Sen. Ted Budd pressed the Surgeon General of the United States, Vivek Murthy, during a Senate HELP Committee hearing Thursday over a study on transgender health that resulted in two suicides.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded a study on the impacts of two years of cross-sex hormones on adolescent mental health. Depression and anxiety decreased slightly over the course of the examination, and the study was touted as strong evidence in support of offering sex changes to minors. But two participants committed suicide during the study, along with 11 who developed suicidal ideation. (RELATED: Dem Congressman Brings A Massive Poster Of ‘The One And Only Queen Of Drag’ To The House Floor)
Budd, along with Sens. Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, and others, sent a letter to the NIH asking why taxpayer money was used to fund a study that resulted in patient suicides.
“It is sickening that the federal government is preying on young people and using our taxpayer dollars to advance its radical gender ideology. We are rightfully demanding answers from NIH and we are committed to holding those responsible accountable for this tragic loss of life,” Oklahoma Republican Rep. Josh Brecheen, another co-signer, wrote in a statement.
“Now the researchers, they concluded that the study was a success,” Budd said during the hearing. “But they admitted also that they couldn’t show that cross sex hormones improved the psychosocial functioning for minors. So clearly, it looks like this was a real waste of taxpayer dollars. Even worse than that, it led or contributed to the suicide of two youth.”
“So Dr. Murthy, considering what I understand is your past support for providing cross sex hormones to children, can you explain whether you think spending more taxpayer dollars on research into transgender procedures on minors will actually help children with the mental issues that we’re discussing today?”
Murthy noted in his response that while he was not directly involved in the study, it was important to study what measures will “improve the mental health and well-being of transgender youth.”
“Because what we see clearly in the data is that as disturbing as these rates of anxiety, depression and suicide are, they’re actually disproportionately higher among LGBTQ youth, particularly transgender youth, and studies that look to understand what interventions would work to address those psychosocial concerns, I do think are important because it is a community that is struggling.”