“New rule: Stop torturing monkeys. You heard me,” begins Bill Maher in a new PETA video, shot amid the COVID-19 pandemic, that takes aim at government-funded “psychology experiments” on monkeys.

“For the last 13 years, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has given $36 million — that’s taxpayer money — to Elisabeth Murray, an experimenter who spends her days sawing open monkeys’ skulls and pumping their brains with toxins,” he explains. “Then, she throws the monkeys in a small black box and scares them shitless with fake snakes and spiders. When she’s done, she kills them or recycles them into other experiments.”

Murray’s tests purport to help mental health — “If that sounds like bullshit, it’s because it is,” says Maher — but have never led to the development of a single treatment for humans. Maher goes on to say, “That’s what our government has been doing instead of preparing for a real health crisis — like COVID-19. That’s what your taxes were paying for instead of ventilators.”

Maher encourages viewers to call NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins and urge him to yank funding for the experiments. “And please, be polite,” he says. “Now, can someone send Dr. Murray a calendar so she can see that this is the 21st century?”

Maher’s video follows a recent appeal from Anjelica Huston and a drive-by protest held by PETA outside Collins’ and Murray’s homes and the NIH building.

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