In a world full of fake news, we on the HUCKABEE team are dismayed on the very rare occasions when we hear we might possibly have trafficked in it, however inadvertently. But then our dismay fades away when we find out we really were on the right track after all. This is one of those occasions.
A reader named Dobbin C. wrote to say, “Governor, you are really disappointing me. You continue to promulgate the fake news about the testing on beagles. You cannot in good conscience criticize the other side by sensationalizing fake news when you are doing it, too.”
Dobbin likely read the “fact”-check by POLITIFACT that rated the claim that Dr. Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) was funding certain cruel beagle studies “mostly false.” Guess it’s time to fact-check the “fact”-checkers again.
First, let’s go back to what we actually said: that it had been “reported” that while Dr. Fauci was running the NIAID, it gave $400,000 to fund the cruel experiments involving beagles and sandflies, and that some people were very upset about it. Here’s the quote from the morning newsletter for October 27: “Dr. Anthony Fauci is facing bipartisan fury and the hashtag @ArrestFauci is trending after it was reported that under his leadership, the NIH gave $400,000 in funding for medical experiments in which beagle puppies endured months of horrific, torturous treatment, then were killed.”
This is true. We did not engage in “sensationalizing” this story. We did not accuse Dr. Fauci of personally signing off on these experiments, as many probably did, nor did we even imply it. We didn’t even claim that the NIAID had funded these experiments, only that reports of it were making people mad. What we said was true.
Here is the story we linked to from FOX NEWS. They handled the story correctly as well, referring to “allegations” against the doctor and the Institute.
I do like that they also included this link to another Fauci story, though.
We linked to a list of other cruel animal studies that to our knowledge the “fact”-checkers have not addressed, and also to a related and correct story about PETA calling on Dr. Fauci to resign. This is true; they have. Again, we never accused Dr. Fauci or the NIAID of funding these studies.
Now, let’s look at what POLITIFACT said to refute the story. They reported that NIAID said it “did not fund one of the studies.” (“ONE OF” the studies?) Apparently that study was the one from the photograph that has been widely circulated, the one from Tunisia of the two anesthetized beagles with their heads enclosed so sandflies could eat them. (I’ms so sorry even to have to talk about something this disturbing, but that’s what it was.) However, there were two other studies –- one of which also involved the cutting of the dogs’ vocal cords and euthanizing them at the end –- that they say they DID fund. So we would say that POLITIFACT is really splitting hairs here.
According to POLITIFACT, “the NIAID said all animals used in NIH-funded research are protected by laws, regulations and policies that were followed in these studies.”
POLITIFACT goes on to quote some of the more sensationalized tweets about Dr. Fauci, terrible names he was called, etc. Again, we did not engage in any of that. They mention inaccuracies in “some reports and social media postings.” That wouldn’t be us, either.
While we were looking into this, we found something very interesting about dogs used in American medical research and are including it to provide some interesting historical perspective on the cruel beagle studies currently in the news. American tax dollars have apparently been funding extremely cruel experiments on dogs, particularly beagles, for a very long time. Researchers find that the beagle is a breed particularly suited to experimentation because of "its size and long life."
There's even such a thing as the "Beagle Data Congress," where in 2010, researchers discussed their “Beagle Dog Experiments” researching the effects of atomic radiation. An earlier project called "the Argonne Beagle Dog Experiments" was carried out on 5,000 very unlucky beagles from 1952 to 1991 and supported by grants from the Atomic Energy Commission. There were 15 "unique" (and uniquely horrifying) studies that involved blasting beagles with radiation and documenting the effects.
For example, 295 beagles were subjected to "continuous external co-60 gamma-ray exposure continued until death." Another study was called "Leukemogenesis: duration-of-life gamma irradiation of young adult beagles." And 298 beagles were given "gamma ray exposure during pregnancy," to learn the effects of radiation on the developing puppies. Good grief.
Here's more information on the Argonne National Laboratory. If you thought this place was in France, you were wrong. It's in Argonne, Illinois. It’s an American lab with, as far as we can tell, American funding.
So when the NIAID says the dogs in their experiments are “protected by laws, regulations and policies that were followed in these studies,” what does that even mean? That it’s “policy” to cut dogs’ vocal cords when their cries of pain are too loud? Because that’s what they did. It’s time for their “policies” to change.
Anyway, we stand by everything we’ve had to say on this, and we actually appreciate the letter from Dobbin, misguided as it was, as it gave us an opportunity to clarify and update the actual story: Yes, the AIAID has had to admit that it does fund cruel research studies on dogs, just not the one in the picture.