The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has funneled federal funds totaling at least $2.7 million to a University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) project that uses tissues from aborted fetuses.
According to a conservative nonprofit Judicial Watch release, which obtained hundreds of pages of public records requests, Pitt has a project known as GenitoUrinary Development Molecular Anatomy Project.
Pitt’s application specifically sought to “develop a pipeline” to acquire and use human genitourinary samples obtained at various stages of development (6-42 weeks gestation, beyond full-term).
Pitt explained to HHS in 2015 that it has continued “collecting fetal tissue for over ten years…including liver, heart, gonads legs, brain, genitourinary tissues including kidneys, ureters, and bladders.”
Minority fetuses sought
Judicial Watch also revealed that Pitt sought many minority fetuses, which Center for Medical Progress founder David Daleiden described as “racist.”
For its part, Pitt said that the higher number of minority fetuses resulted from the focus on populations that are impacted most by kidney disease.
“Projects funded by the National Institutes of Health must ensure appropriate inclusion of women and minorities,” said University of Pittsburgh assistant vice chancellor for news.
“They should also ensure distribution of the study reflects the population needed to accomplish the scientific goals of the study. Asked another way: Does the makeup of the study reflect the populations affected by the illness in question? In the case of the GUDMAP Tissue Hub, one of the goals is to support researchers looking for treatments and cures for kidney disease.”
Pennsylvania’s state legislature held a hearing earlier this year where members discussed a Pitt experiment that involved fetal scalp grafting “full-thickness human skin” onto rodents. This university project used tissue from Pitt’s human tissue bank.
It was funded and supported by grants from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), headed by COVID-19 guru Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Two substantial grants funded the project — one of $430,270 and the other $1,498,642, although it is unclear how much was used on the research.
The university’s research is under the microscope after former university employee Lori Kelly discussed a federally funded research project where researchers collect kidneys and bladders from babies as late as 24 weeks gestation.
Kelly explained that as project manager, she worked to develop “a pull-down menu of baby body parts for researchers to choose from to submit to the tissue bank so that we could send the body parts to them. And these researchers were all across the United States from Florida to California.”
The release of the documents intensifies the scrutiny Pitt finds itself under for its use of fetal tissue. The medical center and university have denied any wrongdoing.