OPINION: Fauci must be held accountable for cruel animal research

Rep. Greg Steube

Long before Anthony Fauci, the chief medical adviser to the president, was obsessed with caging Americans in their homes – in the name of “science” – he directed the National Institutes of Health to cage thousands of beagles in laboratories for cruel and unethical medical experimentation.

According to the Beagle Freedom Project, beagles are often selected as the breed of choice for animal testing because they are “docile, people-pleasing and very forgiving. They are easy to ‘maintain’ in cages and do not have a tendency to bite when being hurt.”

In a report from the United States Department of Agriculture for fiscal year 2019, 797,546 animals were used in laboratory research in the United States. The government is only required to publicly report the treatment of animals listed in the Animal Welfare Act of 1996.

Most species of mice, rats and fish are not required to be included in annual reports of animal testing. Of the animals reported in 2019, over 58,000 of those were dogs.

In documents obtained by the White Coat Waste Project, it was revealed that Fauci’s division at the National Institutes of Health ordered cruel and unnecessary drug toxicity tests on dogs and other animals that cost American taxpayers more than $1.68 million.

These taxpayer dollars funded barbaric trials that involved injecting dozens of beagles with experimental drugs before murdering and dissecting them. To make matters worse, these beagles were puppies between the ages of six to eight months.

Even more heinous, reports were also uncovered revealing that Fauci authorized the vocal cords of the beagles to be cut so that they could not cry while being tortured. It seems that Fauci has a pattern of silencing those who protest his actions since he also silenced millions of Americans who opposed his draconian COVID-19 restrictions. At least Fauci couldn’t slash our vocal cords to shut us up.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time that Fauci’s agencies have supported cruel experiments. In 2016 Fauci authorized experiments where infectious sand flies were strapped to beagles to feed on them for 22 months before the beagles were killed.

During my time in the Florida Legislature, I championed numerous pieces of legislation protecting animals from cruelty and abuse, but never did I think it would be to protect animals from our country’s highest paid government official. But it’s true: taxpayers pay Fauci’s $400,000-plus annual salary to oversee the unethical and inhumane torture of animals in our country and abroad:

After learning about the sand flies experiments, I joined many of my colleagues in sending a letter to Fauci demanding an explanation on reports that he authorized funding for similar tests to be conducted on dogs at the University of Georgia.

As we learned following the aftermath of COVID-19, the National Institutes of Health and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases support foreign animal research projects abroad, such as the questionable experiments at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

I suppose Fauci’s thirst for animal abuse surpasses our borders: harrowing images have been uncovered from National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases files that show drugged beagles – their heads in cages – getting eaten by flies in Tunisia.

My conservative congressional colleagues and I sent a letter to Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, inquiring about its oversight on other foreign animal projects – and expressing concerns about the national security and human health risks of taxpayer-funded animal research conducted abroad.

As the proud owner of four rescue dogs, I am appalled by the actions taken by our government under the direction of Dr. Fauci. Between his mishandling of COVID-19 and the unconscionably cruel animal experiments, this man must be held accountable – and he must resign immediately.

Rep. Greg Steube represents Florida's 17th Congressional District.

This article originally appeared on Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Fauci must be held accountable for animal research practices