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American Mengele

Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool via AP

In the diminutive form of a medical bureaucrat named Dr. Anthony Fauci, has America created our own Josef Mengele — willing to conduct AIDS experiments on orphans?

Yes, orphans.

Please understand I’m not directly comparing the war crimes of Josef Mengele with … let’s be gentle and say “the ethical lapses”… of Fauci. But there is a disturbing similarity between both men’s lack of conscience or medical ethics.

Mengele was born in Bavaria in 1911 and seems to have had a nice upbringing. The eldest of three sons, his father was a successful manufacturer of farm machinery and Mengele did well in school.

He did well enough to go to medical school where he also excelled. While earning his MD — since revoked — Mengele worked with Dr. Otmar Freiherr von Verschuer, who praised his lab work and communications skills.

According to Wikipedia (I know, I know), “Robert Jay Lifton notes that Mengele’s published works were in keeping with the scientific mainstream of the time, and would probably have been viewed as valid scientific efforts even outside Nazi Germany.”

Next thing you know, there’s a war on and Mengele could be found at Auschwitz or Birkenau performing horrible medical experiments on live prisoners without caring whether they lived, died, or were disfigured.

Whatever was missing from Mengele’s soul, it must have gone missing at an early age — at 20 years old, he joined a paramilitary group that was soon absorbed by the Nazi party’s Sturmabteilung bully boys.

“What,” American taxpayers might fairly ask, “is missing from the soul of a doctor who tortures Beagles and monkeys, and just as recently as 2004 was conducting medical experiments on New York City orphans?”

Here’s the background on a nearly-forgotten scandal revealed by the AP in 2005:

The Alliance for Human Research Protection filed a complaint with the FDA and the federal Office of Human Research Protection about a series of AIDS drug experiments conducted on New York City children in foster care. That complaint prompted two separate investigations by the FDA and OHRP which are still on-going.

Articles in The New York Post and a documentary by BBC raised the alarm among the African-American and Latino community in NY-some of who have been protesting weekly in front of Incarnation Children’s Center, the site of some of the drug experiments.

The Associated Press AP has just released its investigative report: the problem is a national scandal–the experiments were conducted in “at least seven states — Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Colorado and Texas — and involved more than four dozen different studies.

Nearly 14,000 kids were involved, from infants to teens. The AHRP noted in 2006 that “Those who conducted the experiments [were] in violation of federal regulations. They also wrote that “the children who were targeted to serve as human drug testing subjects” were “mostly poor children of color” and “not afforded the protection of a personal advocate – as is mandated by federal regulations.”

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In the late 1980s and 1990s, Fauci directed a series of AIDS drug trials performed on foster children. HIV-positive foster kids were funded by NIH. Several of the studies were sponsored by NIAID, a sub-institute of the NIH which Fauci began directing in 1984 and was directing at the time of the studies…

Foster children reported side effects ranging from rashes to vomiting to a significant drop in white blood cell counts. Many children died. During a drug trial involving Dapsone, at least 10 children died.

Fauci’s name wasn’t mentioned in any of the original reports from 2005-06 I’ve been re-reading, even though he was head of the NIH, whose NIAID subagency conducted many of the illegal and unethical experiments. Given that Fauci was making headlines as the medical genius who was going to save us all from AIDS, it seems impossible that he wasn’t at least aware of what was going on.

The report of the US Senate’s official 2017 investigation, however, doesn’t mention Fauci by name.

A 2009 study partly exonerated the NIAID’s practices, but it “also found that the agency had not always followed its own protocols and kept poor records.” Poor record-keeping could just be laziness, but it could also be used to hide worse incompetence or something sinister. We may never know.

What we do know is that Fauci was the man in charge when his agency was indulging and/or paying for medical experiments on foster kids, the medical torture of dogs and monkeys, and the virtual weaponization of a deadly pathogen.

And all along, Fauci has either lied, been allowed to skate, or both.

This is a man with no detectable ethics, in charge of a vast — and apparently barely supervised — medical bureaucracy. Medical doctors possess intricate and arcane knowledge and deal with people at their most desperate. It’s no exaggeration, after looking back at the record of Joseph Mengele, to conclude that there might not be any field where ethics are more important than they are in medicine.

Without them, we’re never more than one short step away from an American Mengele.