At the end of October, Anthony S. Fauci’s assistant decided to cease taking phone calls for a two-week period in order to calm the situation.
As he and other Biden administration officials happened to be preparing for the drive to immunize young children, the head of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention got 3,600 phone calls in just 36 hours.
Complaints About The Beagle Tests Have Deluged Fauci’s Office
Many of the phone calls came from a viral and false claim that Dr. Anthony Fauci’s agency, Allergy and Infectious Disease the National Institute, had funded a medical experiment where beagles got trapped in mesh cages full of sand fliesdiseased, according to four NIH officials who were familiar with the calls.
A bipartisan letter signed by 24 members of Congress questioning the agency’s funding for canine medical research was written in reaction to the uproar, further igniting the flames.
You’re a worthless piece of trash who ought to be locked up. One of the media received 15 phone messages, one of which was about “torturing animals.” He plans to drag you out to the beach, bind you, and suffocate you with fleas all over your a**.
President Donald Trump’s disagreement over his support for masks and opposition to unproven covid therapies have made Fauci a polarising figure throughout the pandemic. Controversy has arisen in the medical community concerning Fauci as well. Despite an uptick in harassment and threats in recent weeks, staff at his agency have been forced to spend significant time debunking misinformation and dealing with security concerns.
According to others interviewed for this story, three National Institutes of Health officials and four senior administration officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive matters for this page.
It’s becoming more difficult for me and my team to conduct our job to battle the covid-19 outbreak because of the persistent harassment in the form of ridiculous allegations and outright disinformation, Fauci said during an interview with the media.
At the same time, Fauci is Vice President Biden’s go-to doctor. Because this attack on him has evident political connotations and focuses on a nonpolitical scientist, I believe it has the potential to harm the whole field of study and highlight how people try to intimidate specialists.
White Coat Waste Project, an animal-rights group that capitalized on conservatives’ hatred against Fauci, created the wave of antipathy, according to an investigation by the media. A right-wing echo chamber eager to slam Fauci on everything from vaccine directives to NIH funding for coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, in the Chinese city where the pandemic began, amplified White Coat Waste’s message. In an effort to stoke conservative opposition to the trapped-beagle study, White Coat Waste was carefully placed to attract attention to five NIAID-funded experiments, some of which resulted in the killing of animals. Many of the organization’s board of directors and senior staff have previously worked for Republican politicians or conservative organizations. The group’s founder and the president are seasoned Republican operatives.
The false assertion about the funding for the beagle study in Tunisia was the consequence of a scientific error by the researchers. They included the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases as a source of funding when they submitted a paper for publication in late July. There were several angry calls to the journal on October 26, when the agency notified it that the researchers had made a mistake in their paperwork.
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