#DrDogKiller trends as pressure builds on Fauci after horrific dog testing revelations

On Twitter, Fauci has since been called #DrDogKiller, with thousands of people tweeting under the hashtag -- mostly conservatives

                            #DrDogKiller trends as pressure builds on Fauci after horrific dog testing revelations
Fauci comes under fire for experimenting on Beagles (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images and Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

Dr Anthony Fauci is facing a lot of criticism on social media after 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. White Coat Waste, a right-wing nonprofit watchdog, claims that 44 beagle puppies were used in a Tunisia laboratory, and some of the dogs had their vocal cords removed, allegedly so scientists could work without incessant barking.

Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina and a group of lawmakers, both Republicans and Democrats, have signed a letter calling on Fauci and his agency to answer questions on funding for experiments involving canine testing. "Our investigators show that Fauci’s NIH (National Institutes of Health) division shipped part of a $375,800 grant to a lab in Tunisia to drug beagles and lock their heads in mesh cages filled with hungry sandflies so that the insects could eat them alive," White Coat Waste alleged. "They also locked beagles alone in cages in the desert overnight for nine consecutive nights to use them as bait to attract infectious sand flies."


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On Twitter, Fauci has since been called #DrDogKiller, with thousands of people tweeting under the hashtag -- mostly conservatives. “Yes Fauci is #DrDogKiller. But he has been for years. We’ve covered this many times. WHY is it only trending now?” read one tweet. Another tweet said, “Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't hurting, torturing and killing animals a key sign you are dealing with a psychopath. #DrDogKiller.” One person wrote, “#DrDogKiller When he’s not creating super killer bugs he’s torturing innocent dogs.” Yet another person said, “Seriously disturbed by #PuppyGate #ArrestFauci #DrDogKiller .. and we are taking advice from this man about rona vaccines. Why isn’t fauci arrested or cancelled by now after torturing little beagle pups??”






But is this outrage warranted, or even based on fact? The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank wrote in his column that, “It turns out that this Tunisian study was erroneously attributed to NIAID. NIAID did, however, fund different research in Tunisia -- and the beagles weren’t puppies, they weren’t euthanized, they weren’t ‘de-barked’, and they weren’t ‘trapped’ so ‘flies could eat them alive’.” 

Milbank explained that the dogs were given an experimental vaccine and allowed to roam, because dogs are the main reservoir host (and flies the main vector) of the disease that was being studied, which affects half a million people a year, particularly children, and has a six percent mortality rate in Tunisia. The columnist also explained that right-wing news outlets conflated separate studies funded by NIAID, using documents provided by the White Coat Waste Project, “a watchdog group with an anti-Fauci bent.” 

He added that in another study, NIAID-funded researchers did perform cordectomies on 44 beagle puppies and euthanized them after the study. The reason was that the Food and Drug Administration required researchers to experiment on non-rodent mammals for certain classes of HIV-AIDS drugs, and for this study specifically recommended dogs. It is mandatory that the dogs be euthanized so researchers can search for damage to organ systems. And it is recommended by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care that the dogs undergo cordectomies to reduce anxiety in dogs and hearing loss in humans from barking. 

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