The Washington Post tried to coordinate a hit piece against the White Coat Waste Project for exposing Dr. Anthony Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for funding and facilitating cruel experiments on beagles because it might harm the pundit’s image regarding COVID-19.
As journalist Glenn Greenwald notes, the Post previously framed the group as appealing to “both fiscal conservatives and animal rights activists” in a 2016 article headlined “Should dogs be guinea pigs in government research? A bipartisan group says no.” The corporate outlet also continued to sing the praises of WCW’s activism throughout the Trump administration.
“So The Post, like most major media outlets, has been reporting on the successes of the White Coat Waste Project fairly and favorably for years,” Greenwald wrote.
It wasn’t until Fauci, chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, was elevated by the media into the public eye that The Washington Post became defensive and launched an attack on WCW in an attempt to “falsely smear it as a right-wing extremist group motivated not by a genuine concern for the welfare of animals or wasteful government spending, but rather due to a partisan desire, based in MAGA ideology, to attack Fauci.”
The White Coat Waste Project found in its dog reports that the NIAID paid hundreds of thousands of grant dollars to a lab in Tunisia, Africa, to experiment using parasite-carrying flies on beagles. The beagles were reportedly “vocalizing in pain” as they were “eaten alive” by flies. That shocking discovery, however, did not seem to faze WaPo, which was more concerned that Fauci’s already-flailing reputation might be further damaged.
Greenwald reported that WCW was more than accommodating of the reporter Beth Reinhard’s requests and even provided her documentation that went “far beyond what non-profit advocacy groups typically disclose” and showed that most of their donations are small and come from individuals through a website. When Reinhard did not find what she was looking for, she demanded that WCW Vice President Justin Goodman answer whether the group had “turned donations away from pro-Trump or conservative groups whom I would expect would embrace your campaign targeting Fauci?”
“We already have disclosed our largest donor, which is the grassroots, and it’s been our largest funder for many years in Democrat and GOP Administrations,” Goodman explained. “We have not turned down, solicited or received a dime from any Pro-Trump or conservative groups, nor have any approached us before or during #BeagleGate.”
Greenwald said the attempted smearing of WCW continued on a phone call with Reinhard and her colleague Yasmeen Abutaleb, who suggested that WCW should be concerned that its work “could end up harming Dr. Fauci’s reputation and thus make him less able to manage the COVID crisis.
“They even suggested that by encouraging people to call the NIH telephone lines to protest this experimentation, they might be making it difficult for people with questions about COVID to get through,” Greenwald explained. “The obvious premise of the entire conversation was one completely antithetical to the journalistic ethos: it is immoral to do anything that reflects negatively on Dr. Fauci now, no matter how true or warranted it might be, because his importance is too great to risk undermining him.”
Goodman denounced WaPo’s actions in a statement and said, “It’s clear based on my conversations with Post reporters that rather than investigating the horrific puppy experimentation being funded with our tax dollars by Anthony Fauci—about which they have asked virtually nothing—they are instead interested in attempting to discredit our organization and #BeagleGate campaign in order to run defense for Fauci.”
“In just 5 years, the paper went from featuring WCW as a model of bipartisanship and highlighting our winning campaigns to end taxpayer-funded animal testing to now trying to smear us a conservative front group that doesn’t really care about animals, all because we dared to criticize St. Fauci,” he explained.