Dr. Fauci accuses Rand Paul of fueling threats against him

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Dr. Anthony Fauci repeatedly lashed out at Republican senators during a bad-tempered Senate hearing Tuesday, accusing Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky of fueling threats against the White House chief medical adviser and his family before referring to Sen. Roger Marshall of Kansas as a “moron” on a hot mic. 

Fauci and Paul have repeatedly clashed during Senate hearings in recent months and engaged in yet another verbal throwdown before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. 

At one point, Fauci accused Paul of claiming he was “responsible for the death of 4 to 5 million people, which is really irresponsible.”

“What happens when he gets out and accuses me of things that are completely untrue,” the top health official said, “is that kindles the crazies out there, and I have threats upon my life, harassment of my family and my children with obscene phone calls because people are lying about me.”

Fauci then referenced the arrest last month of 25-year-old Kuachua Brillion Xiong, of California, who was found to have a “hit list” with Fauci’s name on it when he was pulled over on Interstate 80 in Iowa.

“They found in his car an AR-15 and multiple magazines of ammunition,” the top doc said, “because he thinks that maybe I’m killing people.

“So I asked myself, ‘Why would a senator want to do this?’ So [I] go to [the] Rand Paul website,” said Fauci, brandishing a sheaf of computer printouts, “and you see ‘Fire Dr. Fauci,’ with a little box that says ‘Contribute here.’ And you can do $5, $10, $20, $100.

Dr. Anthony Fauci
Dr. Anthony Fauci accused Sen. Rand Paul of fueling threats against him.
REUTERS

“You are making a catastrophic epidemic for your political gain,” Fauci began before Paul cut him off.

“You have politically attacked your colleagues, and in a politically reprehensible way –” Paul started to say before committee chairman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) cut the exchange short.

Earlier in their exchange, Paul pressed Fauci on why he would “claim unilaterally” that any criticism of him is a “criticism of science itself,” calling the idea “quite dangerous.” 

Sen. Rand Paul
The heated exchange began when Sen. Rand Paul pressed Dr. Anthony Fauci on why he claimed that criticisms against him were criticisms of science itself.
POOL/AFP via Getty Images

“A planner who believes he is the science leads to an arrogance that justifies in his mind using government resources to smear and to destroy the reputations of other scientists who disagree with them,” said Paul, who accused Fauci and then-National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins of unfairly maligning the authors of the anti-lockdown Great Barrington Declaration in late 2020.

“This is not only antithetical to the scientific method, it’s cheap politics and it’s reprehensible,” Paul said. “Dr. Fauci, do you really think it’s appropriate to use your $420,000 salary to attack scientists that disagree with you?”

“No, I think in usual fashion, Senator, you are distorting everything about me,” Fauci pushed back. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci
Dr. Anthony Fauci accused Sen. Rand Paul of focusing on personal, distorted attacks against him and making a “catastrophic epidemic.”
Getty Images

“Senator, we are here at a committee to look at a virus now that has killed almost 900,000 people,” Fauci told Paul later in the hearing. “And the purpose of the committee was to try and get things out how we can help to get the American public. And you keep coming back to personal attacks on me that have absolutely no relevance to reality.”

The senator then asked Fauci if he thought the US response to the pandemic amounted to a “great success.”

“More people have died now under President Biden than did under President Trump,” Paul said. “You are the one responsible, you are the architect — you are the lead architect for the response from the government. And now 800,000 people have died. Do you think it’s a winning success, what you’ve advocated for government?”

“Senator, first of all, if you look at everything I said, you accuse me of, in a monolithic way, telling people what they need to do,” Fauci began. “Everything that I’ve said — [which] has been in support of the CDC guidelines — wear a mask, get boosted –“

“And you’ve made it coercive and done by mandate,” Paul jumped in. “You’ve advocated your infallible opinion by dictated by law.”

A couple of hours later, Marshall — himself a medical doctor — told Fauci, “You have an annual salary in 2020 that was $434,000. 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?”

Sen. Rand Paul
Dr. Fauci said Sen. Paul “kindles the crazies out there,” leading to “threats upon [his] life, harassment of [his] family and [his] children with obscene phone calls.”
Getty Images

“I don’t understand why you’re asking me that question,” Fauci answered. “My financial disclosure is public knowledge and has been so for the last 37 years or so.”

Marshall had a printed poster positioned behind him with Fauci’s salary and retorted: “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,” Fauci fumed. “You’re so misinformed, it’s extraordinary.”

Marshall with a chart of Fauci's salary behind him.
Marshall asked Fauci if he would be willing to submit to Congress and the public a financial disclosure that includes past and current investments.
REUTERS

Marshall pressed further, telling an increasingly flustered Fauci, “this is a huge issue.”

“Wouldn’t you agree with me that you have a — you see things before members of Congress would see them, so that there’s an air of appearance that maybe some shenanigans are going on?” Marshall said.

“Senator, what are you talking about? My financial disclosures are public knowledge and have been so. You are getting amazingly wrong information. What are you talking about?” Fauci exclaimed.

“We cannot find them. Our office cannot find them. Where would they be if they are public knowledge?” Marshall asked.

“It is totally accessible to you if you want it,” Fauci said.

“For the public? Is it accessible to the public?” Marshall continued.

“To the public, to the public!” Fauci insisted.

“Great, we look forward to reviewing it,” Marshall said.

“Sen. Marshall, Dr. Fauci has answered you,” Murray said. “It is public information and he’s happy to give it to you if you were to ask.”

”What a moron!” Fauci muttered into the live mic. “Jesus Christ!”

A spokesperson for Fauci was unable to immediately point The Post to the financial disclosures that Fauci said were public. Center for Public Integrity reporter Liz Essley Whyte tweeted a copy of a disclosure form signed by Fauci in April 2020, but that document had extensive redactions.

“I understand that Anthony Fauci had a very frustrating day: having a bombshell report show he in fact did award U.S. tax dollars for gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and being called out about his personal financial disclosure during the COVID pandemic NOT being publicly available must be very frustrating,” Marshall said in a statement.

“Calling me a moron during a Senate hearing may have alleviated the stress of the least trusted bureaucrat in America, but it didn’t take away from the facts.”



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