President Joe Biden’s pick to lead the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Dr. Monica Bertagnolli, faced a series of probing questions from Republican senators during a Senate health committee hearing. The scrutiny came on issues of drug pricing and NIH’s stance on transgender medical research, as reported by The Daily Signal.
Dr. Bertagnolli, currently holding the position of director at the National Cancer Institute, found her nomination stalled for months by Sen. Bernie Sanders, who demanded a comprehensive strategy from the Biden administration on lowering drug prices. During the hearing, Sen. Bill Cassidy queried Bertagnolli on the application of reasonable pricing clauses in NIH contracts, citing concerns from a former NIH director that such clauses could hinder potential scientific collaborations beneficial to patient care.
To answer the question – the NIH should NOT use tax-payer dollars to do research OR fund irreversible gender-transition mutilation procedures on minors. pic.twitter.com/CaOkS6I5gy
— Dr. Roger Marshall (@RogerMarshallMD) October 18, 2023
A significant part of the discussion also veered towards a controversial NIH-funded study on transgender youth. The study, criticized by some for its methodology and outcomes, investigated the impact of gender-affirming hormones on participants aged 12 to 20. The discourse grew heated when the tragic outcome of suicidal ideation and suicides among participants was brought to light. Sen. Tommy Tuberville voiced his concerns over the NIH’s role in funding and overseeing such research, labeling the handling of the study as a significant oversight.
In response to the various concerns raised, Bertagnolli emphasized her commitment to adhering to the highest ethical standards in research, however, Republicans are doubtful of that commitment due to the radical gender ideology agenda the Biden White House has bowed to.
Watch more from the hearing below: