A few days ago Twitter was alight with anti-Anthony Fauci hashtags and not for the first time. The hatred of this gentle man, a public servant for over 50 years and to six presidents, has no equal. The likes of Jenna Ellis and Ted Cruz were carrying tiki torches and pitch forks on Twitter as they chased the monster and denounced his crimes.

And what crimes they were, dear God. Dr. Fauci was compared with Joseph Mengele and accused of torturing puppies to death. This led to right-wing commentator Josh Bernstein saying that Fauci “deserved to be sodomized every day” of his prison term.

If you want to be a well dressed monster, you wear this tee shirt along with Hillary’s face mask made from dead babies.

Dana Milbank, Washington Post:

“Dr. Anthony Fauci is facing calls from a bipartisan group of legislators to respond to 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,” Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post reported Sunday afternoon.

“HORROR ‘EXPERIMENTS’: #ArrestFauci trending after doc ‘funded research that saw beagles eaten alive & stripped of vocal cords in testing’” Murdoch’s Sun reported.

“’Cruel’ Fauci is condemned for … experiments which saw beagles ‘de-barked’ and trapped in cages so flies could eat them alive,” added Britain’s Daily Mail, mentioning “a Tunisian research lab where beagle puppies were force-fed a new drug.” […]

…As it turns out, the only thing being tortured here is the truth. The episode says more about the right-wing disinformation machine and its crusade against Fauci than it does about research funded by Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

It turns out that this Tunisian study was erroneously attributed to NIAIDNIAID 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.” The dogs were given an experimental vaccine and allowed to roam. There was a very good reason for this: 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 6 percent mortality rate in Tunisia. […]

Had right-wing outlets checked with the NIH, they would know that in another study, which didn’t involve Tunisia and didn’t involve flies, NIAID-funded researchers did indeed perform cordectomies on 44 beagle puppies and euthanized them after the study. And here’s why: The Food and Drug Administration requires researchers to experiment on non-rodent mammals for certain classes of HIV-AIDS drugs, and for this study specifically recommended dogs. It is necessary to use young dogs (six to eight months) to assess whether the drugs retard growth. 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. (Beagles are used because of their uniform size.)

Above all, this is no frivolous pursuit: The drugs under study are promising next-generation antiretrovirals that can be administered to HIV/AIDS patients less frequently — potentially saving countless human lives.

This was all bad enough, but also last week the results of a Freedom Of Information Act filing turned up the fact that one of NIH’s grant recipients conducted a “limited experiment” with the Wuhan, China, lab testing whether bat coronaviruses could bind to human receptors in mice. And that brought Rand Paul swinging down from the rafters screaming “gain of function.”

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who regularly spars with Fauci, wants him to be prosecuted. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) tweeted Monday that “Anthony Fauci’s NIH funded the Wuhan lab that ‘did indeed enhance a bat coronavirus to become potentially more infectious to humans.’ And Fauci’s NIH was involved in torturing puppies. Remind me again how Fauci still has a job???”

What was happening last week is the same thing as has been happening with right-wing disinformation for well over 20 years. Don’t forget Fox News just celebrated its 25th anniversary in business. The name of the game is to find some small fact, say Bill Clinton getting a check from somebody in Canada. Link that to something nefarious, like Hillary Clinton selling uranium to foreign countries. Then cobble together a tale about the Canadians buying uranium from Hillary Clinton, when in fact no such thing took place and Bill Clinton took a speaker’s fee from somebody.

That is how disinformation works. Investigative journalism is digging deep and connecting all the dots. Tabloid journalism is taking superficial, unrelated facts and making up dots to link them together. And if you do it really well, voila, you’ve got conspiracy theory.

There is no more pernicious and undermining influence in our country today than disinformation. That said, Fox News is very much in the black and AT&T is bankrolling OAN.

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11 COMMENTS

  1. As anyone from this side of the pond can tell you, the Sun was started by Murdoch as a right wing rag in competition with the left wing (back then anyway) Daily Mirror. It’s news content was minimal, its accuracy even less so and its ‘populaity’ owed more to the topless ‘models’ posing on page 3 than anything else.

  2. I figured it was a huge nothing. And why do they always assume that the Big Boss of a medical/science institute is doing everything themself, hands on?

  3. Is there not a legal case for slander or libel? A large damage claim against these idiots should at least slow them down!

  4. I believe it is time for Fauci to file personal defamation lawsuits against Cruz and Paul with the stipulation that no public funds can be used for their defense. If more people filed suits holding specific politicians accountable for their careless and vicious comments, they might just succeed.

  5. The biggest problem is the many cult like believers in this disinformation divides our country and makes us vulnerable to all types of conspiracy theories and manipulation by right wing fanatics.

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