MUST READ: Gateway Pundit Attorney Destroys Fake “Fact-Checker” Daniel Funke on His Latest Embarrassing Attempt to Rescue Fauci

In August The Gateway Pundit reporter Cassandra Fairbanks reported exclusively on Dr. Fauci’s macabre experiments with beagles in Tunisia.

The report finally started making the rounds in the media this week.

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From the report—

The White Coat Waste Project, a taxpayer watchdog group, provided The Gateway Pundit with new examples of Dr. Anthony Fauci facilitating cruel and unnecessary taxpayer-funded experimentation on dogs — this time in Tunisia.

Documents uncovered by the organization found that the National Institutes of Health division that is led by Dr. Fauci shipped part of a $375,800 grant to the lab in Tunisia to infest beagles with parasites.

The grant money funded a study published last month that detailed the horror inflicted upon the unlucky dogs.

One of the tortures that the beagles were subjected to included locking their heads in mesh cages filled with infected sand flies so that the parasite-carrying insects could eat them alive.

Beagles are often used for these tests because of their gentle nature, even towards those who harm them.

There was a photo of the test, which is sure to haunt anyone with a conscience. 

Fauci’s taxpayer funded animal experiments in Tunisia

According to their paper, the scientists starved the sand flies in order to make sure they were hungry enough to attack the dogs.

“The sand flies were then allowed to feed on the sedated dogs….” the report explains.

The nightmare for dogs did not stop there. The experimenters locked beagles alone in cages in the middle of the desert, isolated, for nine consecutive nights, to use as bait to attract more infectious sand flies. There is also a photo of this horror.

You can read the rest here.

Following our report and its revelations on Dr. Fauci’s Mengelean experimentation the fake online “fact-checkers” sprung into action.

Fake fact-checker Daniel Funke from USA today sent us the following email:

Please note: The function of the online “fact-checkers” is to harass and blemish conservative publishers. It’s not about facts. If it was they would demand Dr. Fauci step down for his numerous lies on funding the Wuhan lab behind the COVID virus and his gain-of-function funding. But these fact-checkers are not interested in the truth. They are interested in ruining the few remaining outlets that report the truth to the American public.

On Friday The Gateway Pundit attorney John Burns responded to USA Today reported Daniel Funke.

This was absolutely BRUTAL.


Mr. Funke:

Thank you for the clarification.  Believe it or not, I have followed some of your work and I’ve noticed you have a keen eye for detail.  So, I appreciate your commitment to accuracy.
Something doesn’t add up, here.  I’ve interviewed the author of our article, Cassandra Fairbanks, and I’ve reviewed her methods and materials.  I’m going to take you through the timeline of this and our evidence.  At the outset, though, candidly, I find USNAID’s disavowal highly suspect, and it raises questions to which I hope you will find answers; not only from NIAID, but the authors of the study, themselves.  I would also mention that, whatever ultimately ends up being the truth (it isn’t clear to me at this point) our author and publication have not erred in our reporting or methods.
At the beginning of August, 2021,  a government waste watchdog outfit – White Coat Waste Project – had reported about the NIAID’s $424,455 grant to the University of Georgia for experiments with beagles.  See this federalist article from 8/5.  See also the spending data.  So far as I know, the facts surrounding this first issue have not been contested.
Ms. Fairbanks’ article was published on August 31, 2021.  Her article reported on a new report (“Report”) of White Coat Waste Project – this time about the Tunisian experiment.  The Report included a variety of publicly available links and Ms. Fairbanks also did some of her own research.  Notably, the US NCBI (part of NIH) republished the PLoS journal article – see here – and then listed  (it remains there even now) the funding as:
EZ and AS received funding from the US National Institutes of Health -grant number R21AI130485, and from the Wellcome Trust-grant number 209336/Z/17/7. The funders had no role in study design, data collection or analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Note the NIH grant number – R21AI130485.  Note also the Wellcome Trust grant number.  
Ms. Fairbanks also researched this specific NIAID grant.  The NIH specifically lists that grant and that project – the Tunisian experiment – as having been funded by the NIAID. See here – it still states this even now.  Interestingly, on the same NIAID grant website, Abhay Satoskar is listed as the project leader (the PLoS article lists him as responsible for “funding acquisition”).  There were actually two related grants: R21AI130485-01A1 and R21AI130485-02  (see here and here for non-archived – it’s still available on NIH).
We were then contacted by you on Wednesday as part of your investigation.  As you noted, PLoS editors amended their article to disavow NIH funding on October 26th – or nearly two months after Ms. Fairbanks wrote her article and political leaders wrote angry letters to NIH:
The US National Institutes of Health and the Wellcome Trust did not provide any funding for this research and any such claim was made in error.
(Emphasis added).
I didn’t ask Ms. Fairbanks if she investigated the Wellcome Trust.  However, this afternoon, I myself investigated it.  In a few minutes, I found that Prof. Satoskar is listed as having received a grant in 2018 which appears to precisely match with the Tunisian dog study (leishmaniasis vaccine and dogs):
More than 12 million people suffer from leishmaniasis, a tropical disease which causes significant tissue destruction and disfigurement and can be life-threatening. The disease is spread by infected sand flies and animals, mainly dogs. The most life-threatening form of the disease is visceral leishmaniasis (VL), which is the second most fatal parasitic infection after malaria. No vaccine exists but patients who recover, develop immunity against reinfection, indicating that a vaccine is feasible.
We have generated genetically modified live weakened Leishmania parasites. Preclinical studies show that these weakened parasites are safe and induce protective immunity against infection. We will test the safety and effectiveness of using weakened Leishmania parasites as a vaccine in a novel canine model of VL.
This study could represent a major step forward for the development of a human vaccine for VL, as well as a vaccine for dogs to reduce their risk as carriers.
I’m not an academic in forensic research, but a simple comparison of the NIH grant abstract and the Wellcome Trust abstract,  the PLoS article, and the NIH’s own republication of the PLoS article, clearly indicates that that they are all referencing the same study.
So, at a minimum, I don’t think Ms. Fairbanks or GP made any error in reporting this matter.  As of the original publication date, there were three independent public and private, publicly available sources representing that the study occurred.  As of today, two of those sources continue to corroborate the original reporting, notwithstanding your source at the NIAID, and her/his suggestions to the contrary.
But, setting that aside, what is the truth, here?  I’m left with a number of questions.  If NIH/ NIAID claims it did not fund the Tunisian experiment, then how is it that PLoS, Wellcome Trust, and the NIH itself ALL misreported the funding of the precise same experiment, with the same point of contact (Satoskar), and why do the NIH and Wellcome Trust sites remain without an update? The authors of the PLoS article submitted their piece in February of this year, and it was finally published in July, presumably after peer review.  See here for an intro into PLoS’ review process.  How did this basic funding fact evade the authors and journal editors?  Further, if there was a mistake, who made the mistake and, more importantly, where did the money actually come from? 
And, thinking ahead – I could imagine NIAID pivoting upon being confronted with these questions and suggesting that money is fungible and “how were they supposed to know” the funding would go to dog experiments? Interestingly, the original PLoS article said NIAID didn’t know of what the experiments would consist.  Rebuttal: Satoskar filled-out a grant app and the abstract of that grant clearly envisions dog experiments.  So, the original disclaimer on the PLoS funding attribution is itself misleading.  And knowledge of how the grant would be used is a related but separate issue from whether or not NIH actually funded the study: the PLoS editor who issued that amendment said, definitively, that neither Wellcome Trust nor NIH provided ANY funding.  Someone appears to be fibbing, here. The goalposts appear to have been moved.  First, what appears to be a highly misleading suggestion of a lack of knowledge in the face of what is and has been openly known by the public.  Now, a complete disavowal.
If you have discovered any answers to these questions, I would genuinely be interested in them, because given my suspicions, I’m highly curious about this story.  Specifically, I’m interested in knowing:
  • who amended the PLoS article on 10/26;
  • why;
  • why Wellcome Trust still lists Satoskar as being the grant recipient for the same study at issue;
  • if not for dog experimentation, what was the Wellcome Trust grant trying to accomplish?
  • who at NIAID claims any of this was misreported in the first place;
  • why the NIH grant reporter lists Satoskar as the recipient for the exact grant mentioned in the PLoS article (original), and why the grant and article contain the exact same subject matter;
  • what Prof. Satoskar has to say about all of this;
  • how the grant was so radically mislabeled on the NIH grant reporter site (assuming it was);
  • how this error escaped PLoS’ peer review process;
  • how and why was the funding description misreported (assuming it was) in three independent, highly credible, publicly available data repositories?
  • Who are responsible for these mistakes?
Good luck in your investigation.
All best,
Very truly yours,
John C. Burns
Burns Law Firm

We don’t expect to hear back from Mr. Funke anytime soon.

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Jim Hoft is the founder and editor of The Gateway Pundit, one of the top conservative news outlets in America. Jim was awarded the Reed Irvine Accuracy in Media Award in 2013 and is the proud recipient of the Breitbart Award for Excellence in Online Journalism from the Americans for Prosperity Foundation in May 2016. In 2023, The Gateway Pundit received the Most Trusted Print Media Award at the American Liberty Awards.

You can email Jim Hoft here, and read more of Jim Hoft's articles here.


Thanks for sharing!