OPINION: This article contains commentary which may reflect the author's opinion
After Biden’s Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci called him a ‘moron’ during this morning’s Senate hearing, Senator Roger Marshall said he plans to introduce a ‘Fauci Act’ to force the publication of financial interests.
The Republican senator said he would introduce a bill that would require government officials whose financial records are not already available to provide them to the Office of Government Ethics (OGE).
Marshall and Fauci engaged in a heated exchange during which the doctor called the senator a ‘moron’, and this, in turn, led to the introduction of the Financial Accountability for Uniquely Compensated Individuals (FAUCI) Act.
Fauci said he called Marshall a ‘moron’ because he was unaware that government employees’ financial disclosures were public information. According to Marshal, Fauci’s records were not released since the pandemic began (Marshal also stated that it was his staff that looked for his records, not him personally).
‘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 queried the doctor.
‘I don’t understand why you’re asking me that question,’ Fauci retorted. ‘My financial disclosure is public knowledge and has been so for the last 37 years or so, 35 years.’
Fauci, who apparently didn’t know his mic was still on, was heard saying ‘What a moron, Jesus Christ!’
Fauci just called Senator Roger Marshall a moron because he disagreed with Fauci and said "Jesus Christ" in a derogatory way. This little tyrant can’t keep his cool if anyone questions him. Sen. Marshall is a doctor and Army Vereran! #FireFauci pic.twitter.com/p6gHizlUYe
— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) January 11, 2022
Following the confrontation on Tuesday, Fauci told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes that it was ‘stunning to me’ that Marshall didn’t know that ‘my financial statement is public knowledge.’
In April 2020, Fauci signed a financial disclosure document that appeared in the public domain and covered his transactions for 2019. The document was riddled with redactions.
Judicial Watch has sued the National Institutes of Health because they failed to respond to three FOIA requests filed by the group from January to September 2021 for Fauci’s employment contracts, daily calendars, confidentiality agreements, and recent financial disclosures.
‘Dr. Fauci was clearly shaken by my simple line of questioning. Instead of agreeing to publicly provide his financial disclosures, he chose to spin the truth and once again mislead the American people,’ Marshall said to reporters.
‘Considering he is the highest-paid employee in the entire federal government, Dr. Fauci needs to make his financial disclosures easily accessible to the public and lay all his cards on the table.’
During Fauci’s testimony, he told the senator that if they wanted his financial records, ‘all you have to do is ask.’ Marshal insists that his office cannot locate Fauci’s documents.
Liz Essley Whyte, a reporter for the Center for Public Integrity, obtained information on OGE Form 278e, which seems to indicate that Fauci, 81, mostly invested in equity funds, bond funds, and money markets. No pharmaceutical stocks were contained in it.
Fauci’s Schwab One Trust Account with financial services company Charles Schwab provides much of the information in the document.
Besides showing Fauci as an associate and editor at McGraw-Hill since 1983, the 2020 filing shows he received royalties totaling between $100,001 and $1 million for editing Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine.
Additionally, he owns a stake in the SF Italian restaurant Jackson Filmore, which is worth between $1,001 and $15,000.
Adam Andrzejewski, writing in Forbes on Wednesday, stated, ‘It’s not public what stocks and bonds Dr. Fauci bought and sold in 2020 or 2021, as he influenced Covid policies.’
At the Tuesday hearing, Marshall had suggested that Fauci, who earns a $434,212 a year salary, was engaging in insider trading, by the way he phrased his question during the hearing.
Fauci stated to MSNBC’s Hayes, ‘It just is an example, again, he was implying, if you listen to the entire dialogue, 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.’
‘He was totally implying that, and he made the statement that we can’t get your financial statement.’
Hayes told his audience that Fauci was a ‘little frustrated with that line of inquiry’ from the senator.
When Marshall had finished up with his questions, Fauci was heard saying ‘What a moron, Jesus Christ,’ while being off the camera but with his microphone still on.
Of the insult, Marshall told Fox News, “Well, I think we were both very much in the moment. I did not take it personal one bit. I was more focused on the true facts. The fact that he had just lied to Congress.”
Regarding the financial disclosure forms, Marshal told reporters today, “We’ve asked his staff, we’ve asked NIH, and they’re at a loss. So he lied. He absolutely lied to the American public.”
The senator added that his office has written to Fauci’s office asking for copies of the financial disclosures that are not redacted by Friday. “If they’re so easy to get, surely he could turn those over by Friday.”
Fauci’s testimony was part of the administration’s defense of how it handled the Covid-19 pandemic as it nears the end of the second year and faces a crisis of confidence and trust from the public.