Talk show host Bill Maher has called out the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for using taxpayer money to fund experiments on monkeys.
In a new video, the host of HBO’s “Real Time With Bill Maher” noted that for the last 13 years, the NIH has given $36 million of taxpayer money to Elisabeth Murray. Murray is the scientist in charge of the National Institute of Mental Health’s Intramural Research Program.
Maher calls Murray an “experimenter, who spends her days sawing open monkey skulls and pumping their brains with toxins.”
He adds that, sometimes she sucks out their brains and burns them.
“Then she throws the monkeys in a small black box and scares them [expletive] with fake snakes and spiders,” he continues.
According to Maher, Murray does all of this to help cure mental health disorders. He says: “if that sounds like [expletive], it’s because it is.” He noted that researchers who spend their time studying human brains have more reliable results.
Maher urged people to call Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the NIH, “and tell him that animals aren’t laboratory equipment.”
‘That’s What Your Taxes Were Paying For Instead of Ventilators’
Maher also called out the U.S. government for its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. has the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 infections in the world, with more than 1.7 million cases. More than 100,000 people have died.
“That’s what our government has been doing, instead of preparing for a real health crisis like COVID-19,” he continues. “That’s what your taxes were paying for instead of ventilators.”
It’s not the first time the host has addressed the global health crisis. Last month, he called factory farming just as “despicable” as the wildlife trade in an episode of “Real Time With Bill Maher.”
The COVID-19 outbreak is linked to Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, a wet market in Wuhan, China. Wet markets are different from live animal markets and many do not sell wildlife, but this particular market had a separate wildlife section.
Many have called for live animal markets to shut down due to the risk of virus outbreaks, but Maher says factory farms are just as “problematic for our health.”
He said: “factory farming has a lot more lobbyists, but ecological time bombs tick the same. Americans should not get too high and mighty about wet markets while we are [factory farming].”