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Dr. Anthony Fauci was caught calling out a Republican senator who questioned his financial disclosures after a heated interview during a Senate hearing.
Appearing before the Senate Health Committee Tuesday to discuss the federal response to new variants of COVID-19, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, 81, fired back under his breath after an exchange with Sen. Roger Marshall.
The Kansas lawmaker insisted that he couldn't find Fauci's financial disclosures – information the White House's chief medical adviser on COVID-19 says he's released for over three decades.
"You oversee over $5 billion in federal research grants. As the highest paid employee in the entire federal government, yes or no, would you be willing to submit to Congress and the public, a financial disclosure that includes your past and current investments?" Marshall began, seated before an oversized, fake check for $434, 212 – Fauci's salary in 2020, per government records. "After all, your colleague Dr. [Rochelle] Walensky and every member of Congress submits a financial disclosure that includes their investments."
"I don't understand why you're asking me that question. My financial disclosure is public knowledge and has been so for the last 37 years or so," Fauci said.
Countering, Marshall continued, "Well, the Big Tech giants are doing an incredible job of keeping it from being public. We'll continue to look for it. Where would we find it?"
"All you have to do is ask for it. You're so misinformed, it's extraordinary," Fauci fired back.
Alluding to collusion, the senator said, "Wouldn't you agree with me that you see things before members of Congress would see them so there's an air of appearance that maybe some shenanigans are going on?"
HOT MIC MOMENT: After clashing with GOP Sen. Roger Marshall, Dr. Fauci was caught muttering, "what a moron," followed by "Jesus Christ." pic.twitter.com/merKU3BGAJ
— Mediaite (@Mediaite) January 11, 2022
Visibly ticked, Fauci told Marshall he had "amazingly wrong information" while the senator insisted that his office "cannot find" the records.
The conversation ended when Sen. Patty Murray, chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee, cut in and confirmed Fauci's finances were indeed public information.
Reeling after the exchange, Fauci muttered off-camera, "What a moron, Jesus Christ" into his mic.
Appearing on MSNBC later in the day, Fauci explained his reaction, sharing: "[Marshall] was implying, if you listen... that in my position, responsible for drug trials and having so-called inside knowledge of what drug works and what drug doesn't work, that maybe I was making investments sort of like ahead of the game here."
"It was stunning to me that a United States senator doesn't realize that my financial statement is public knowledge," he said. "It was just like, where have you been?"
At another point during the hearing, the doctor clashed with Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky when the politician criticized his leadership during the pandemic. Paul argued that Fauci was "the one responsible" for the government's response to the global health crisis, pointing out that 800,000 people in the United States have died from the virus to date.
Susan Walsh/AP/Bloomberg via Getty
Feeling that Paul took it too far and insisting that he only ever heralded CDC guidelines, Fauci said, "You personally attack me, with absolutely not a shred of evidence of anything you say," per CNN. "He's doing this for political reasons… It distracts from what we're all trying to do here today – get our arms around the epidemic and the pandemic that we're dealing with."
"What happens when he [Paul] gets out and accuses me of things that are completely untrue is that all of a sudden, that kindles the crazies out there and I have threats upon my life, harassment of my family and my children, because people are lying about me," he continued.
From there, Fauci brought up that a man was arrested in Iowa on Dec. 21, traveling from California to Washington, D.C., allegedly planning to kill him. Law enforcement found an AR-15 style rifle, ammunition and body armor in Kuachua Brillion Xiong's car, per the Associated Press, citing court documents.
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