One could call the Ohio GOP a lot of things. As someone born and bred in the Buckeye state, I happen to consider it as deeply suspect as it is mortifying; outsiders, however, might just liken it to a lot of monkey business. And hey, speaking of which, Republican Senate nominee JD Vance is reportedly bankrolling the burning of live macaque testicles in a Columbus biotech startup.
According to a new Rolling Stone report, the Hillbilly Elegy author and—I simply cannot stress this enough—venture capitalist with Silicon Valley connections, has been backing AmplifyBio, a $200 million biotech startup that purports to be “Advancing Science for Humankind.” If that sounds like the mission statement of a fictional research facility in a bad sci-fi film, you’re onto something. In short, because AmplifyBio tests experimental drugs on live animals, including dogs and primates. As a result, many of such animals die from the exposure to toxic testing. It’s also noted that said testing is prone to some “technician errors”—namely, burns on monkeys’ genitals. Additionally, one lab monkey died after being wedged in “faulty lab equipment.” I can’t be certain, but I’m pretty sure this isn’t what Tucker Carlson meant when he advised men to roast their balls.
While Republican voters in Ohio may not be concerned with such horrifying details, they might take issue with the fact that among AmplifyBio’s trials are cell therapies and drugs that are likely acquired from stem cell lines, including those retrieved from live embryos and aborted fetuses. I’d imagine this would be awfully difficult to square for the right-wingers to whom Vance—who, in a recent debate, just wondered aloud whether if American society, “looks at unborn babies as inconveniences to be discarded”—continues to court. You know, those who argue life begins at conception.
Meanwhile, AmplifyBio feigned ignorance and refused to confirm or deny if the drugs they test are developed with fetal or embryonic cells: “We do not have any policy that would require our clients to disclose those types of development details,” the statement given to Rolling Stone reads. “To have that policy could limit the clients we work with.” Though the startup notes that while they doesn’t use stem cell lines, they are a “common tool” in drug research and development. Vance declined to comment altogether.
Currently, Vance and his opponent, Democrat congressman, Rep. Tim Ryan (D) are basically tied, according to recent polls. Women voters are reportedly in favor of Ryan, while Vance has-unsurprisingly—curried favor predominantly with men. Abortion, as in other races across the country, has highlighted not just the contrast between the two candidates, but Vance’s flip-flopping on the subject. In September 2021, he infamously argued against a need for exceptions for rape and incest, and by February 2022, he issued a full-throated proclamation of support for criminalizing abortion nationwide during a podcast interview. In a recent debate, he slightly walked back his stance on exceptions—using the 10-year-old rape survivor as an anecdote—though noted that he would vote for the national abortion ban at 15 weeks introduced by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).
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In conclusion: It’s going to be a long two weeks until the November 8 election. Fortunately, a significantly funnier scandal is concurrently taking place within the Ohio GOP: A Republican nominee for Franklin county auditor just realized his horny replies to “hot moms” on Twitter are public. If that’s not a palate cleanser for tortured primates and the shameless greed of aspiring politicians, well, I don’t know what is.