White Coast Waste in Hot Water

February 25th, 2022

The Daily Beast reported yesterday that the notorious anti-animal research group, White Coat Waste Project (WCWP), is under scrutiny for illegal activity. WCWP is a conservative organization that spearheaded a misinformation campaign against Dr. Anthony Fauci last fall, as reported in The Washington Post in November. WCWP also has strong connections to right-wing politics, including political activity that “has crossed into ‘blatant disregard’ for the law.”

According to the Daily Beast:

The WCWP charity was originally organized by “seasoned Republican operative” Anthony Bellotti in 2013, under section 501(c)3 of the federal tax code.

The watchdog group Campaign for Accountability yesterday filed an IRS complaint detailing WCWP’s illegal activity. The complaint details several violations over multiple years: raising money from prohibited sources, filing false records with federal agencies, and making donations to the same officials that WCWP was lobbying. For example, in 2019, WCWP lobbied on an anti-animal testing bill and in the same election cycle, the WCWP PAC donated to the campaigns of the same seven House candidates who introduced the bill. More seriously, the complaint cites web data showing that WCWP’s PAC website is registered and maintained by WCWP itself.

Justin Goodman, spokesperson for the White Coat Waste Project claims that the IRS complaint is “politically motivated,” despite last fall admitting that their own attack against Dr. Fauci was, in fact, politically motivated: “When you have such a high-profile person to point the finger at for funding animal experiments, it would be malpractice for us not to do that,” said Justin Goodman to the Post in November.

It is shameful that groups like WCWP must resort to illegal activity, and not evidence-based arguments, to try to garner support. The consequences for their activity remain to be seen, but have potential significance. The full Daily Beast article can be found here.

~Speaking of Research