How does that old saying go: “A fool and his money are soon parted”? Well, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) just played us all for fools, separating the public from tens of millions in taxpayer dollars and scattering it at the feet of the demonstrably inept, cruel, and pointless Washington National Primate Research Center (WaNPRC) at the University of Washington.
NIH chose to spit on sound science, public health and safety, financial stewardship, and animal welfare by throwing nearly $13 million annually at the WaNPRC for infrastructure, in addition to tens of millions of dollars to continue experimenting on monkeys. In doing so, NIH ignored the center’s failure to prevent zoonotic disease, its violations of state health and veterinary regulations, and its environmental racism, not to mention its toxic-waste exposures, its apparent financial mismanagement, an appalling and unexplained death rate among monkeys, and multiple violations of animal protection laws.
Bankrolling the WaNPRC’s orgy of violence and buffoonery sends a clear message—and it’s not a good one. This country’s preeminent health agency has solidly endorsed and encouraged more law breaking and more bad science, since the WaNPRC has shipped animals with infectious diseases to other laboratories around the country—in apparent violation of state and federal regulations—jeopardizing public safety and potentially compromising other federally funded research.
This is the same primate center, by the way, that the King County Superior Court in December 2021 held liable based on its policy of intentionally destroying public records—an apparent violation of state law—after the former interim director and the current associate director for research admitted to it under oath.
Read that again: It was the WaNPRC’s policy to destroy its own data—records that would presumably back up its research and, perhaps more to the point, records that could have shown in greater detail the horrors that monkeys there endure.
The WaNPRC is happy to take your money but is demonstrably averse to showing you what it does with it. And NIH apparently thinks all this is OK. More than that, the agency thinks you’re foolish enough to believe the WaNPRC is worth tens of millions of your dollars.
Show NIH that you aren’t: Join thousands of PETA supporters in calling for the immediate closure of the WaNPRC and the release of the monkeys to reputable sanctuaries where they’ll be afforded the safety and dignity that they deserve for the rest of their lives.