Dr. Fauci and the Beagles: 2.5 Years Later RedState Is Vindicated As WaPo Backtracks on His Defense

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

During a contentious and revealing House hearing in early June, Dr. Anthony Fauci was compelled to make a number of admissions involving pandemic responses and related declarations he'd made. Masking claims were now debunked, his six-foot distancing standard was pure creation, mandates on school policies were never based on studies, and the lab leak issue that was formerly taboo has been all but confirmed.


Fauci Hearing: The Accountability That Will Never Come

Fauci Tried Social Distancing Himself From Responsibility,
but Nobody Is Buying the Lies Anymore

During his discrediting, there was another story confirmed that is unaffiliated with COVID-19 but no less dramatic - the case of a lab conducting experiments on beagle puppies. This was the jarring report that stated a Tunisian medical lab was conducting shocking experiments on that breed concerning sand flies passing disease. The dogs were locked in cages with the infested flies, and photos showed beagles — purportedly anesthetized — with heads secured and their bodies exposed.

As this story has now reared up once again, we need to take two approaches. First, we will revisit and then look at the media revisions.

This experiment was exposed in August 2021 by the animal rights organization the White Coat Waste Project. As it sparked outrage on social media and concern from members of Congress, this revelation, according to the press, did something far more sinister; it brought criticism down upon the sanctified figure of Dr. Anthony Fauci. We need to recall that at this time, the pandemic was still a hot-button news item, Fauci was still an unimpeachable source, and various subjects were policed by the media while medical sources were considered off limits to any level of criticism or doubt.

After weeks of the beagle story not dying down, the Washington Post stepped in to run defense. The approach at the time was evident right from the headline. It was claimed things were “misleading” and that the outrage was sparked by a disreputable source: “Little known animal-rights group leverages hostility among conservatives toward U.S. covid chief.” The bulk of the WaPo article is treated as an exposé on the White Coat Waste Project, with scant time spent actually investigating the story. Discrediting WCWP and protecting Fauci’s elevated honor was clearly the intent.


The main story at the time carried a number of elements:

  • A lab in Tunisia was conducting tasteless experiments on beagles.

  • That lab was being funded in part by the medical organization headed by Dr. Fauci, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. (NIAID)

  • The study involving the beagles was said to be wrongly attributed to NIAID funding.

  • Fauci and the NIAID were receiving fierce criticism, mainly from the political right.

It was at this time I covered the WaPo report, noting an overwhelming amount of the “investigation” looked into WCWP, and not the central story, declaring the group to be a conservative outfit funded by GOP money and feeding conservative social media echo chambers, which in turn led to harassment of Dr. Fauci. The entire thrust was to shoot the messenger and avoid looking into the message.

To Defend Fauci From Beagle-abuse Accusations Washington Post Resorts to the Reckless Behavior It Criticizes

There were clear problems with this attempt by the Washington Post, but this was the kind of story in 2021 deemed off-limits. Criticizing Fauci was forbidden, and questioning tactics was out of line, to say nothing of looking into matters that could disrupt narratives. As Fauci himself said at the time, “This attack on me, which clearly has political overtones to a nonpolitical scientist, I feel, is dangerous to the entire field of science.” The press held this exact position at the time, so the WCWP exposé and my article were more heretical than valid in the eyes of the media. Facts were, in fact, damned.


For starters, the White Coat Waste Project did not fabricate this story of the Tunisian experiments and the NIAID funding. That originated from the research paper filed by the lab conducting the experiments; that is to say, as directed firmly in that time period, the WCWP followed the science and words of medical professionals. It was said by the Post that the researchers had “mistakenly” listed the NIAID as a funder. This was based on the denials made by Fauci’s outfit.

Later came an explanation from the agency, once it became established that it did, in fact, provide funding to this lab in question, that although they did support some beagle-and-flies experimentation, the NIAID did not fund the experiment in question. It was the kind of excuse that should have sparked interest from WaPo, but instead, it placated the news outlet. 

This is the same kind of dodge heard regarding tax dollars going to Planned Parenthood, for example – the money is for women’s health programs but does not fund abortions. First-year econ students grasp the ignorance of such a claim, and the NIAID deflection is even weaker. What was essentially being said was, “Well, yes, we did fund some beagle experiments at that lab, but not those controversial beagle experiments!”

In the years since, the WCWP has filed FOIA requests for NIAID documents and, after coming into possession of internal communications and emails, found there was — as suspected — far more involvement. For instance, once it was discovered that the research study listed Fauci’s agency behind the funding, that reference was removed. 


This has been exposed as another conflict of interest. A sign of this entire story going sideways is that now, the Washington Post has revisited the details, and the name conducting the clarification is the completely unreliable fact-checker Glenn Kessler. His examination of this fractured tale can be summed up in a phrase of pure deflection: It’s complicated.

In his lengthy over-explanation, Kessler manages to leak out glaring details. For starters, the person behind the removal of the funding reference (said originally to be done in error) was not from the research team but from NIAID. Also, somehow, this study on the beagles did not appear in the database of the National Institute of Health (the organization under which Fauci’s NIAID operates). Yet, according to Kessler, looking over the WCWP-supplied documents, it previously had been listed.

The emails show that, while it was removed before the publication of The Post article, the study had been listed in the database for months and was still listed as of the previous month, when Fauci first asked about the controversy. NIH also declined to answer questions about the removal of the study from the database.

And as for the wan excuse the NIAID made that it only funded a benign experiment with beagles, that too has been exposed as gas lighting. While the original explanation was their experiment allowed dogs to run free, another document concerning the grant application, obtained by the WCWP, states clearly the dogs were to be caged for hours with sand flies to ensure they experienced transmission of the disease carried by the flies. So this had been established with the NIAID — from the start.


Kessler had to admit:

The NIH study in Tunisia that the agency said it funded was cast in a positive light that is undermined by the grant application that has since been made public.

So today, let us look at what we know: 

  • The NIAID was directly involved in funding the dog experiments. 
  • Fauci and his agency denied any involvement. 
  • They tried to deflect with false stories on the specifics of the funding. 
  • The NIAID removed evidence of the funding from the research. 
  • They eliminated citation of the funding from the NIH database, after the insistence of Dr. Fauci. 
  • And they lied about the nature of the experiments they had backed.

Like so many of the news items involving the pandemic and Dr. Anthony Fauci, details that were previously considered unreportable or forbidden have eventually come to light as being accurate and no longer deniable. The Washington Post displays the tendency by far too many in the press to push approved narratives and dispatch the facts for the sake of what is called propriety.

The mainstream press attempted to smother this beagle story, like many other pandemic-era reports we made here at Redstate and Townhall Media outlets. Here we and the White Coat Waste Project stand with facts supporting our original cases, and this is because facts were what was our basis from the start. It has taken the Washington Post over two years to come around and attest to those facts.


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