Tuesday | October 26th, 2021

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It’s Tuesday, October 26th, and this is your Morning Wire. Listen to the full podcast:

1) New NIH Documents Appear To Contradict Fauci

The Topline: Newly-released documents call into question earlier federal messaging regarding the U.S. funding of potentially dangerous research at the Wuhan Lab of Virology.

Stefani Reynolds-Pool/Pool/Getty Images

The Controversy

Last week, documents released by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) appeared to contradict previous claims by the EcoHealth Alliance on the subject of controversial experiments on bat coronaviruses in Wuhan, China.

EcoHealth Alliance is the global non-profit focusing on pandemic-related research at the center of the “gain-of-function” allegations, having received a grant from the NIH.

The NIH are now claiming they weren’t aware of the problematic and potentially dangerous research being carried out at the Wuhan Institute of Virology with funding from the United States through EcoHealth. 

According to the letter, scientists took a known bat coronavirus and spliced the spike proteins from other recently discovered bat coronaviruses, testing it on mice genetically engineered to have human-type cell receptors. 

They found the mice got much sicker than they’d normally get when exposed to the known bat coronavirus, calling their findings an “unexpected result.” 

Remember: They had previously claimed they had reviewed the research and found it had not violated gain-of-function regulations enforced at the time.

Evidence seems to imply that either the NIH was misled regarding the type of research happening or Dr. Anthony Fauci was not honest about U.S. involvement in terms of funding earlier this year.

More Allegations 

In a letter, Representative Nancy Mace (R-SC) and 23 colleagues shared “grave concerns about reports of costly, cruel, and unnecessary taxpayer-funded experiments on dogs.” 

According to the White Coat Waste Project, a taxpayer watchdog group, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) spent $1.68 million in taxpayer funds on drug tests involving 44 beagle puppies. 

Researchers allegedly locked the drugged dogs in cages, either to be eaten alive by sandflies or injected with various parasites, in order to study the results.

Andrew CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/Contributor/AFP via Getty Images

2) School Boards Apologize For Controversial Letter

The Topline: The National School Boards Association is now apologizing for a letter they sent to President Biden in which they compared parents who protested against certain left-wing polices in school to “domestic terrorism.” The letter also requested that the FBI investigate those parents.

The Letter

After immense backlash, the National School Boards Association apologized on Friday for the wording of its controversial letter, which suggested that “acts of malice, violence and threats against public school officials… could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.” 

The original letter was reportedly sent without approval from the NSBA’s board, though it was co-signed by the CEO and president of the NSBA. 

Biden Administration

In September, the NSBA began speaking with White House staff regarding issues they saw at public schools, including alleged threats against school officials. The NSBA then sent the letter to the White House, asking the Biden administration to use the PATRIOT Act and other laws to look into supposed threats from parents. 

 A few days after the initial letter was sent, the White House asked for examples of threats against school board members. 

The day after the White House asked for examples, on October 4, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced an FBI task force to look into protests at school board meetings. 

The administration received strong pushback following the announcement, with critics insisting the Biden administration had effectively asked the FBI to help silence parents trying to speak up for their children.

The Numbers: A recent poll showed 19% of adults approved of Garland’s investigation into parents, whereas 57% disapproved, including 32% of Democrats. 

The Apology

After the emails between the Biden administration and NSBA were revealed last week, the association published an apology letter, saying it had “no justification for some of the language included in the letter.” 

The NSBA also recognized that parents “should and must continue to be heard when it comes to decisions about their children’s education, health, and safety.”

Maddie Meyer/Staff/Getty Images

3) China Pulls Celtics Games After Player Criticizes Government

The Topline: Last week, Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter posted a video criticizing the communist government of China, prompting the communist country to pull future Boston Celtics games from its major streaming service.

Quote Of The Day: “My message to the Chinese government is: ‘Free Tibet.’”

– Enes Kanter

Enes Kanter

As the NBA began its regular season, Enes Kanter — center for the Boston Celtics — took to social media Wednesday morning to call out the oppression of the Tibetan people by the Chinese government, among other things. 

Kanter continued going after China later on Friday, calling on President Xi Jinping to “close down the slave labor camps and free the Uyghur people.” In the video, Kanter called out the leaders of multiple majority muslim countries, as well as Muslim athletes for not speaking up for the Uyghurs. 

He also called on Nike founder Phil Knight to end the use of forced labor in the making of their products. 

The Chinese streaming giant Tencent reportedly responded by removing future Celtics games from their platform. 

Remember: The Philadelphia 76ers also cannot be watched on the app after Daryl Morey,  then-general manager of the Houston Rockets, supported pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong in 2019. Morey is now the president of basketball operations for the 76ers. 

His support led to the Chinese government shedding ties with the Rockets organization, and the NBA lost a reported $200 million. NBA stars like LeBron James denounced Morey’s message. 

The NBA And China

The NBA greatly depends on China from a financial perspective, as do many players. There are multiple NBA stars who have shoe deals with Chinese sneaker companies, and a significant portion of the league’s television revenue comes from China.

-/Contributor/AFP via Getty Images

Other Stories We’re Tracking

Sudan

On Monday, Sudan’s military orchestrated a coup, arresting multiple government officials and dissolving the military’s power-sharing agreement with civilian groups. The coup follows the declaration by Sudan’s Prime Minister last week that the nation would transition to a democratic, full civilian government by mid-November. 

“Dads On Duty”

A group of fathers in Shreveport, Louisiana have reportedly solved one high school’s chronic problem with violence among students. “Dads on Duty,” a group of 40 fathers, patrol the halls in shifts, bringing positivity, discipline, and dad jokes to the students. Dozens of students had been arrested for fighting the week before the dads arrived, while zero have been arrested since. The dads hope to expand the group to other schools in the state. 

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