VINDICATED: After Years of Covering For Fauci, Washington Post Acknowledges Beagle Torture

News & Politics

In two and a half years, “conspiracy theory” magically morphs into established fact! Have we seen this movie before?

          RelatedMTG Gives Fauci’s Beagle Torture Program New Oxygen

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Here was the Washington Post in November 2021 (emphasis added):

Anthony S. Fauci was swamped by so many angry messages and threats that in late October his assistant quit answering the phone for two weeks. The U.S. covid chief got 3,600 phone calls in 36 hours, just as he and other Biden administration officials were preparing for the campaign to vaccinate young children*

The wave of anger grew out of a campaign by a little-known animal rights group called the White Coat Waste Project, which leveraged existing hostility among conservatives toward Fauci to further its cause, a Post review found. White Coat Waste has only a small fraction of the budget of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the nation’s most prominent animal-research opponent, but the group’s message was amplified by a right-wing echo chamber eager to thrash Fauci over everything from vaccine directives to NIH funding of coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, in the Chinese city where the pandemic began.”

Much of the onslaught stemmed from a viral and false claim that the agency Fauci leads, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, had funded a medical experiment in which beagles were trapped in mesh cages filled with diseased sand flies, according to four National Institutes of Health officials familiar with the calls. The outrage was supercharged by a bipartisan letter signed by 24 members of Congress that questioned the agency’s funding of medical research on dogs.

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Fast forward to this month, after MTG brought the goods to Congress for all the world to see.

Via Washington Post, June 7, 2024 (emphasis added):

During the coronavirus hearing this week, Greene attacked Fauci as she held up a photo of two sedated puppies, their heads placed in mesh cages, as they lie on a table while being swarmed by sand flies. Outside the hearing, an ad truck commissioned by a group opposed to taxpayer-funded animal experiments circled Capitol Hill with billboards that showed Fauci together with this photo and directed people to a website called BeagleGate.org. The group, the White Coat Waste Project, is founded and run by people with links to conservative-leaning organizations, The Washington Post has reported.

Note the gratuitous insertion of “with links to conservative-leaning organizations” in the description of WCW with no elaboration, as if affiliation with conservative organizations alone is some sort of black mark of shame that automatically disqualifies it from any consideration.

Continuing:

When we first saw Greene hold up the photo, we figured this would be easy to debunk — another in a string of misleading attacks against Fauci, who became the public face of the government’s response to the pandemic.

After all, when this first became an issue in 2021 — unrelated to covid then as it is now but part of a general effort among conservatives to discredit Fauci in any way possible — a raft of fact checks noted that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) said the study in question, conducted in Tunisia, had been attributed in error to the agency that Fauci ran, a division of NIH. The scientific journal that published the study issued a correction. NIH said that it did fund a study in Tunisia involving dogs and sand flies.

But it’s more complicated than that, a review of NIH emails and documents obtained by the group since 2021 under the Freedom of Information Act suggests. Some of the documents call into question NIH’s statements at the time, part of what appears to be a bungled public relations response…

The Tunisian sand fly study pictured in the photo was published on July 27, 2021, in the journal PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases. The study described how the beagles, between 6 and 8 months old, and obtained from the kennels of the Pasteur Institute of Tunis, were sedated and then exposed to hundreds of sand flies that had been deprived of food for 24 hours.

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To summarize, back in 2021 when the allegation first surfaced, the Washington Post asked the NIH if it had tortured beagles. The NIH said it hadn’t. The paper then, with no further inquiry, reported that as if it were fact.

That was it — the extent of its “journalism.”

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