‘What an idiot’: Fauci argues with GOP senator over financial revelations

Fauci countered Marshall’s claim, saying his investment and financial information was already “public knowledge” and had been so for more than 30 years.

“All you have to do is ask for it,” Fauci said. “You’re so misinformed, it’s extraordinary.”

Marshall claimed that because of Fauci’s job, he sees information for members of Congress and therefore possesses insider knowledge.

“There is an indication that there may be some quarrels going on,” he said, though the senator added that he believes that “is not the case.”

Fauci said the information about his financial revelation “is completely available to you, if you will,” both for Marshall’s office and for the public.

A spokeswoman for the National Institutes of Health said Tuesday afternoon that she would investigate questions about whether Fauci’s financial disclosure was available to the public via a Freedom of Information Act request or otherwise, and would respond as soon as possible.

“We look forward to reviewing it,” Marshall said in response as Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, suspended the exchange.

“What an idiot,” Fauci could be heard saying quietly as Tuesday’s hearing went ahead. “Jesus Christ.”

Marshall later responded in a statement: “Calling me an idiot during a Senate hearing may have eased the stress of the least trusted bureaucrat in America, but that did not remove the facts.”

A spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services, Ian Sams, condemned Marshall’s comments about Fauci in a statement Tuesday night.

“At a time when America is seeing increasing COVID cases,” he said, “it is disappointing and frankly unacceptable that Republican senators chose to spend a hearing with the country’s leading public health experts spreading conspiracy theories and lies about Dr. Fauci, rather than how we protect humans from COVID-19. “

Sams said in the statement that the Biden administration will continue to focus on getting more people vaccinated and boosted, and urged Republicans to join the administration in this effort.

The Capitol Hill testimony has long been a meeting place where Fauci has sparred with Republican lawmakers. Earlier Tuesday, he took part in a heated exchange with Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) – Fauci’s loudest GOP critic on Capitol Hill – and argued that the senator’s critical rhetoric “turns on the crazy ones” who threaten him and his family. Fauci also accused Paul of using the pandemic for political gain.

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