National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci and his wife Christine Grady, who directs the National Institutes of Health’s Bioethics Department, co-authored a paper outlining criteria for international grants administered by the National Institutes of Health.
Published March 1st, 2002 in the journal Nature Reviews Immunology, the paper counted two other authors in addition to the Faucis: Gregory Folkers, who directs the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director (NIAID) Immediate Office of the Director, and Jack Killen, the former Director of the Division of AIDS at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The unearthed paper – “Ethics of Clinical Research in the Developing World” – comes amidst controversy over Fauci’s decision to fund research on “killer” bat coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Additionally, Grady’s prominent role in supervising ethics of NIH research and policy appear to present a conflict of interest given her husband’s role in shaping America’s COVID-19 response and vaccination guidelines.
The paper addresses what type of studies the U.S. should fund in the developing world, arguing against a “Uniform Care Requirement.”
“Many commentators believe that all clinical trial participants must receive a level of care equivalent to the world’s best. Using HIV/AIDS research as an example, we show how this ‘Uniform Care Requirement’ can undermine biomedical research aimed at improving global health, and then we point towards a more rational and balanced approach to ethical assessment,” begins the paper.
“Studies carried out in resource-poor countries might differ substantially from those in the developed countries that are most likely to sponsor the research,” add Fauci and Grady.
The pair continue to outline criteria for internal research, which would have ostensibly applied to work carried out in Wuhan.
“The first requirement for ethical research is that the study has potential social and scientific value. In the context of international clinical research, this would include responsiveness to the health needs of the population in which it is to be carried out, a factor that is increasingly recognized as being essential to ethical research,” explains the paper.
“The second requirement for ethical clinical research is valid scientific methodology — that is, that it stands a high probability of yielding reliable and useful data related to the research questions it addresses.”