Fauci called GOP senator a ‘moron’ because it was ‘stunning’ he didn’t know financials were public

Dr. Anthony Fauci said that he called GOP Sen. Roger Marshall a ‘moron’ because it was ‘stunning’ that he didn’t know government employees financial disclosures were public information. 

‘It was stunning to me that a United States senator doesn’t realize that my financial statement is public knowledge. It was just like, “Where have you been?”‘ Fauci said Tuesday night on MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes. 

Marshall had suggested with his line of questioning at the Tuesday hearing that Fauci, who brings in a $434,212 annual salary, was engaging in insider trading. 

‘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,’ Fauci told Hayes. 

‘He was totally implying that, and he made the statement that we can’t get your financial statement,’ Fauci continued.  

Hayes said that Fauci, President Joe Biden’s top medical adviser and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was a ‘little frustrated with that line of inquiry’ from Marshall, a Kansas Republican.  

After Marshall’s time was up, the infectious disease expert could be heard sighing: ‘What a moron, Jesus Christ.’ 

Dr. Anthony Fauci told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes that he called GOP Sen. Roger Marshall a ‘moron’ because it was ‘stunning’ that he didn’t know government employees financial disclosures were public information

Sen. Roger Marshall, a Kansas Republican, displayed a blown-up phony check made out to the amount of Dr. Anthony Fauci's salary during Tuesday's Senate Health Committee hearing with Biden's top medical adviser

Sen. Roger Marshall, a Kansas Republican, displayed a blown-up phony check made out to the amount of Dr. Anthony Fauci’s salary during Tuesday’s Senate Health Committee hearing with Biden’s top medical adviser 

He and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky appeared before the Senate panel to defend the Biden administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic as it nears the end of its second year and with the administration and agency facing a crisis of confidence and trust. 

During the contentious hearing Fauci also accused Republican Sen. Rand Paul of personally attacking him for ‘political gain, distorting ‘everything’ he says and inspiring ‘crazies’ to want to kill him during another tense battle.

To Hayes, Fauci said Paul asked ‘nothing productive or constructive’ at the hearing.

Marshall began his off-topic exchange with a blown-up check made out to Fauci for $434,312 and demanded he present his already-public financial disclosures – implicitly accusing the longtime medical expert of possible insider trading.

‘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 replied.

Fauci, like most senior government officials, is bound by law to disclose his financial information on an annual basis. 

There have never been any evidence reported that Fauci has run into trouble with the statute or neglected to follow it. 

Marshall pressed him again, ‘But 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?’

Fauci aggressively fought back against accusations of silencing dissenting scientists and insider trading at a hearing meant to be about the federal government's COVID response

Fauci aggressively fought back against accusations of silencing dissenting scientists and insider trading at a hearing meant to be about the federal government’s COVID response

Dr. Fauci was joined by top Biden administration health officials including CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky at the contentious Monday hearing

Dr. Fauci was joined by top Biden administration health officials including CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky at the contentious Monday hearing

‘All you have to do is ask for it. You’re so misinformed. It’s extraordinary,’ a bewildered Fauci said.

But the senator was undeterred. 

‘Why am I misinformed? This is a huge issue. Wouldn’t you agree with me that 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,’ he said.

An exhausted Fauci exploded: ‘What are you talking about?’

Marshall claimed his office couldn’t find Fauci’s financial disclosures. 

After the hearing the Kansas Senator said: ‘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 publically available must be very frustrating.’

‘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.’

During the hearing the White House chief medical adviser erupted at his nemesis Paul for suggesting he was using his $420,000 salary, the highest in the federal government, to ‘take down’ scientists he disagrees with and for calling him ‘lead architect’ in the pandemic response that’s led to 800,000 Americans dying under President Biden.

Paul, who has called for Fauci to be fired and prosecuted, referenced emails published by Republican lawmakers on Tuesday containing an exchange between Fauci and his boss, Dr. Francis Collins, in which they dismiss a report that the pandemic originated in the Wuhan lab.

He accused Fauci, 81, of ‘using government resources to center and to destroy the reputations of other scientists who disagree with him.’

Paul is among Fauci's most vocal critics, blaming him for thousands of COVID deaths and blasting his COVID health directives as 'tyrannical'

Paul is among Fauci’s most vocal critics, blaming him for thousands of COVID deaths and blasting his COVID health directives as ‘tyrannical’

‘Do you really think it’s appropriate to use your $420,000 salary to attack science? Paul asked.

Fauci then flew into a rage, told Paul he was ‘completely incorrect’ and mentioned a California grocer who was arrested while travelling to D.C. with an AR-15 and threatening to kill him.

Fauci attempted to correct Paul but the pair wound up talking over each other in an increasingly heated back-and-forth.

‘I think in usual fashion, Senator, you are distorting everything about me,’ Fauci said.

Fauci makes a phone call during the politically charged COVID hearing

Fauci makes a phone call during the politically charged COVID hearing

Paul began attacking Fauci for a desire to ‘tear down people’ before the scientist cut him off to say he was ‘completely incorrect.’

Fauci went a step further and told the Kentucky Republican, ‘not only are you distorting it, you’re completely turning it around.’ 

‘Senator, we are here at a committee, to look at a virus now that has killed almost 900,000 people and the purpose of the committee was to try and get things out how we can help to get the American public,’ the medical expert exploded. 

‘And you keep coming back to personal attacks on me that have absolutely no relevance to reality.’ 

The GOP legislator labeled Fauci the ‘lead architect’ of a government response that’s led to 800,000 people dying of COVID under Biden’s first year in office. 

Fauci asked Committee Chair Senator Patty Murray for a chance to respond, telling her: ‘I would like just a couple of minutes because this, this happens all the time.’

‘You personally attack me, and with absolutely not a shred of evidence of anything you say. So I would like to make something clear to the committee: he’s doing this for political reasons,’ Fauci said. 

He brought up one of Paul’s previous ‘irresponsible’ claims that Fauci was responsible for American COVID deaths.

Kuachua Brillion Xiong, 25, was arrested last month with a hit list that included Fauci, Biden and Obama among others

Kuachua Brillion Xiong, 25, was arrested last month with a hit list that included Fauci, Biden and Obama among others

‘There are two reasons why that’s really bad,’ he said steadily. 

‘The first is, it distracts from what we’re all trying to do here today, is get our arms around the epidemic and the pandemic that we’re dealing with. Not something imaginary.’

The second, Fauci said, is that Paul’s wild accusations have led to threats against his and his family’s safety.

‘What happens when he 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 with obscene phone calls, because people are lying about me,’ Fauci said. 

‘I guess you could say well, that’s the way it goes, I can take the hit. Well, it makes a difference.

‘Because as some of you may know, just about three or four weeks ago on December 21, a person was arrested, who was on their way from Sacramento to Washington, DC, at a speed stop in Iowa. And they asked — police asked him where he was going, and he was going to Washington, DC to kill Dr. Fauci.’

Late last month a California grocery store clerk named Kuachua Brillion Xiong was arrested with a hit list of political figures including Fauci, Biden and Barack Obama.

What happens when he 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 with obscene phone calls, because people are lying about me.’

Dr. Fauci to Sen. Rand Paul 

He reportedly told authorities he wanted to ‘fight evil demons in the White House’ and was arrested with an AR-15 rifle, ammunition, loaded magazines, body armor and medical kits in his car.

‘Because he thinks that maybe I’m killing people,’ Fauci said of the man. ‘Now I ask myself, why would the Senator want to do this?’

He held up a paper with a graphic of his own face printed alongside the words ‘Fire Dr. Fauci.’

‘Go to Rand Paul website, and you see “Fire Dr. Fauci” in a little box that says, “Contribute here.” You could do $5, $10, $20, $100 — so you are making a catastrophic epidemic into your political game,’ Fauci charged. 

Paul alleged Fauci was choosing to attack him in order to not respond to his accusations.

Eventually Murray shut down the exchange, denying Fauci’s request for an additional minute to continue responding.

Shortly after the brief war of words, Paul posted an image of an infuriated Fauci holding up the website image.

‘Dr. Fauci and I finally agreed on something in our Senate hearing today,’ he mocked. 

The next lawmaker to speak, Democrat Senator Chris Murphy, thanked Fauci for his work and tore into Republicans for ‘making a sport’ out of these attacks.

Paul mocked Fauci on Twitter shortly after their angry war of words at the Senate hearing

Paul mocked Fauci on Twitter shortly after their angry war of words at the Senate hearing

‘And thank you for calling out this agenda for what it is, an attempt to score political points, to build a political power base, around the denial of science and around personal attacks on you and your family,’ Murphy said.

He said Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers go after Fauci in ‘some of the most vicious, hateful, ugly ways that are possible — and they do it because it gets clicks. They don’t do it because they’re legitimately engaged in a honest debate about the science revolving around COVID.’

The Department of Health and Human Services released a statement defending Fauci and blasting Republicans shortly after the hearing on Tuesday.

‘When it comes to misinformation, Republicans on the committee clearly weren’t trying to stop the spread. At a time when America is seeing rising COVID cases, it’s 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 people from COVID-19,’ HHS spokesman Ian Sams said.

‘The Biden Administration will continue to focus on getting more Americans vaccinated and boosted and helping Americans get access to the tools to keep themselves and others safe. We would encourage these Republicans to join us.’

Another recent high-profile GOP attack on Fauci occurred when conservative Fox host Jesse Watters urged a young right-wing audience at a Turning Point USA event to ‘ambush’ Fauci and ‘go in for the kill shot’ — despite couching the violent rhetoric by telling the crowd to confront him ‘respectfully.’

Far from being punished, Watters was recently given his own primetime show on the TV network. 

But Paul has perhaps been Fauci’s most consistent critic, from accusing him of lying to Congress over NIH funds that allegedly went toward virology research in Wuhan to blaming him for thousands of COVID deaths.

Instead of engaging them on the merits, you and Dr. Collins sought to smear them as fringe and take them down, and not in journals in lay press. This is not only antithetical to the scientific method, it’s the epitome of cheap politics, and it’s reprehensible, Dr. Fauci. 

Sen. Rand Paul to Dr. Fauci 

The Kentucky senator has claimed that Fauci’s laser-focus on promoting vaccines versus treatments and ‘natural immunity’ cost numerous lives during the pandemic. 

Fauci said in December that while boosted Americans have about 75 percent protection against the Omicron variant, some monoclonal antibody treatments won’t work against the new strain.

‘Unfortunately, but understandably with the degree of mutations that we have with Omicron, some of the monoclonal antibodies shown on the slide here very likely will not work against Omicron and those are shown in the first two monoclonal antibodies,’ Fauci said on MSNBC on December 22. 

The CDC recommends all people aged 12 and older be fully vaccinated and boosted, regardless of whether they’ve had COVID or not.

The now-dominant Omicron variant has been shown to cause breakthrough infections, though the vast majority of those patients experience mild to no symptoms. 

Despite the new strain appearing to cause milder illness than the more severe Delta variant, data has shown that those who are unvaccinated are at a significantly higher risk of being hospitalized or dying of the virus.

Earlier in the hearing, GOP ranking committee member Sen. Richard Burr said the American public has lost ‘trust’ in the Biden administration amid widespread confusion over shifting public health guidelines.

‘I don’t understand why after tens of billions of federal dollars being appropriated, this administration has failed to ensure that the Americans have the tests they need. I don’t understand why suddenly it’s okay to take into account the economic and job impact of your guidance and recommendations,’ Burr said.

‘ We shorten the quarantine guidance because too many people would be out of work. Was that because of science, or was it because you now know that lockdowns, shutdowns and school closures come with a significant downside impact?

‘If you ask the American people to trust, quite frankly, you’ve lost their trust. Rather than attempting to gain their trust back, the administration chooses to litigate mandate requirements for employers with over 100 employees.’

Fauci shakes hands with ranking member on the Senate Health Committee Richard Burr. During the hearing Burr claimed the White House lost Americans' 'trust' amid widespread confusion over pandemic health guidelines

Fauci shakes hands with ranking member on the Senate Health Committee Richard Burr. During the hearing Burr claimed the White House lost Americans’ ‘trust’ amid widespread confusion over pandemic health guidelines

Before gaveling in the second round of the hearing, Murray without naming names warned participants against making ‘personal attacks.’

At the outset of his allotted time Paul blasted Fauci for the ‘insulting’ suggestion he was to blame for the doctor’s death threats. 

He recalled the 2017 incident where a Bernie Sanders supporter opened fire during a Congressional Republican baseball practice, critically injuring House GOP Whip Steve Scalise. 

‘The person who’s shot at us and almost killed Steve Scalise was a rabid supporter of Bernie Sanders. But the one thing you’ll find, if you look at the record is not one of us accused Bernie Sanders of being responsible for that,’ Paul said.

‘So this is the kind of ignorant sort of personal attacks that you’ve engaged in.’ 

The senator seemed to insinuate that Fauci himself was to blame. 

‘The anger that’s developed with you, Dr. Fauci, is that you don’t want to give us advice. You want to tell us what to do,’ Paul said.

‘You think you are the science, and that anybody responds to you — “How dare you? How dare you criticize science?” As if you somehow are science? That kind of arrogance, that hubris is really that’s where the anger is coming towards you.’

Given a minute to respond, Fauci denied Paul’s claims he wanted to ‘take down’ scientists who disagreed with him.

‘You personally attack me, and the things that you do are incorrect, and proven incorrect,’ Fauci told his foe.

During the hearing, Fauci also took heat from GOP Senator Roger Marshall, himself a physician before taking office.

‘You’ve lost your reputation. The American people don’t trust the words coming out of your mouth,’ the Kansas Republican said.

Fauci retorted, ‘It really pains me to have to just point out to the American public just how absolutely incorrect you are.’  

REPUBLICAN SENATORS AND FAUCI GO TO WAR: READ THE TENSE EXCHANGES IN FULL 

Senator Rand Paul: The idea that a government official, like yourself, would claim unilaterally — unilaterally to represent science, and that any criticism of you would be considered a criticism of science itself, is quite dangerous. Central planning, whether it be of the economy or of science, is risky because of the fallibility of the planner, would not be so catastrophic if the planner were simply one physician in Peoria. Then the mistakes would only affect that physician’s patients and the people who chose that physician. 

But when the planner is a government official, like yourself, who rules by mandate, the errors are compounded and become much more harmful. 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 him. 

In an email exchange with [NiH Director Dr. Francis Collins ] you conspire, and I quote here directly from the email, to create a “quick and devastating publish takedown” of three prominent epidemiologists from Harvard, Oxford and Stanford. Apparently there’s a lot of fringe epidemiologists at Harvard, Oxford and Stanford. 

And you quote in the email from Dr. Collins, and you agree, that they are fringe. And immediately this is takedown ethic, a published takedown though doesn’t exactly conjure up the image of a dispassionate scientist. Instead of engaging them on the merits, you and Dr. Collins sought to smear them as fringe and take them down. And not in journals, in lay press. This is not only antithetical to the scientific method, it’s the epitome of cheap politics and it’s reprehensible, Dr. Fauci. Do you really think it’s appropriate to use your $420,000 salary to attack scientists that disagree with you?

Fauci: The email you were referring to was an email of Dr. Collins to me, if you look at the email —

Paul: — That you responded to, and hurried up and said “I can do it I can do it, we got something in Wired Magazine —

Fauci: No, no, no, no, I think in usual fashion, Senator, you are distorting everything about me.

Paul: Did you ever object to Dr. Collins’s characterization of them as fringe? Did you write back to Dr. Collins saying “No, they’re not fringe, they are esteemed scientists and it would be beneath me — “

Fauci: I did not do that.

Paul: You responded to him to that you would do it, and you immediately got an article in Wired, and sent it back to him and said “Hey look I’ve got him, I nailed him in Wired,” of all scientific publications.

Fauci: That’s not what went on. There you go again, you just do the same thing every hearing —

Paul: — That was your response. That was your response —

Fauci: — No, no —

Paul: — And this wasn’t the only time. So your desire to tear down people —

Fauci: You’re absolutely incorrect as usual, Senator, you’re incorrect. Almost everything you’ve said.

Paul: You deny, you deny, but the emails tell the truth of this.

Fauci: No.

Paul: This wasn’t the only time. Your desire to take down those who disagree with you didn’t stop with Harvard, Oxford and Stanford. You conspired with Peter Daszak, who you communicated with privately, and other members of the scientific community that wrote opinion pieces for Nature — five of them signed a paper for Nature, an opinion piece, 17 signed a paper that called it “conspiracy theory,” the idea that the virus could have originated in the lab. Do you think words like “conspiracy theory” should be in a scientific paper?

Fauci: Senator, I never used that word, when I was referring to it. You’re distorting virtually everything —

Paul: Did you communicate with the five scientists who wrote the opinion piece in Nature, where they were describing “Oh, this — there’s no way this could actually come from a lab.”

Fauci: That was not me. What I did —

Paul: Did you talk with any of those scientists privately?

Fauci: You keep that you keep the truth. It is stunning how you do that.

Paul: Did you? Did you talk to any of the scientists privately, who wrote the opinion —

Fauci: Yes.

Paul: You did. Well what were they telling you privately?

Fauci: Well, let me explain — you know, you’re going back to that original discussion when I brought together, a group of people to look at every possibility with an open mind. So you not — not only are you distorting it, you’re completely turning it around. As you usually do.

Paul: And those are the scientists that came to you privately. Did they come to you privately and say “No way this came from the lab,” or was their initial impression, Dr. Gary and others that were involved, was their initial impression, actually, that it looked very suspicious for a virus and came from a lab?

Fauci: Senator. We are here at a committee to look at a virus now that has killed almost 900,000 people 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.

Paul: Do you think anybody has had more influence over our response to this than you have? Do you think it’s a great success?

Fauci: Let me finish — Madam Chair, can I —

Paul: Do you think it’s a great success what’s happened so far?

Fauci — You have said —

Paul: Do you think the lockdowns are good for our kids? Do you think we slowed down the death rate? More people have died now under President Biden than did under President Trump. You are the one responsible, you are the architect. You’re the lead architect for the response from the government. And now 800,000 people have died.

Fauci: Right.

Paul: But you think that’s a winning success what you’ve advocated for government?

Fauci: Senator, first of all, if you look at everything that I said, you accuse me of — in a monolithic way — telling people what they need to do. Everything that I have said has been in support of the CDC guidelines. Wear a mask, get boosted, get vaccinated.

Paul: And you’ve advocated to make it coercive, and [intelligible] advocated for it to be done by mandate.

Fauci: Take a look at everything I’ve said.

Paul: You’ve advocated that your infallible opinion be dictated by law.

Fauci: Madam Chair, I would like just a couple of minutes because this, this happens all the time. You personally attack me, and with absolutely not a shred of evidence of anything you say. So I would like to make something clear to the committee: he’s doing this for political reasons. What you need to do is — he said in front of this committee —

Paul: — You think your takedown of three prominent epidemiologists was not political? That was my question —

Fauci: — You don’t want me to finish because you know what I’m going to say.

Paul: That was the question. Were you political in taking down these three prominent epidemiologists?

Chairwoman Patty Murray: Senator, Senator we will — at this point — at this point — Senator Paul, if you would please. I’m going to allow this, going to allow Dr. Fauci to respond. We have a number of Senators who have to ask questions and I would like him to be able to respond. Please do.

Fauci: So, the last time we had a committee or the time before, he was accusing me of being responsible for the death of 5 — 4 to 5 million people, which is really irresponsible and I said, “Why is he doing that?” There are two reasons why that’s really bad. 

The first is, it distracts from what we’re all trying to do here today, is get our arms around the epidemic and the pandemic that we’re dealing with. Not something imaginary. 

Number two, what happens when he 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 life — threats upon my life — harassments of my family, and my children with obscene phone calls, because people are lying about me. Now, now — I guess you could say well, that’s the way it goes. I can take the hit.

 Well, it makes a difference. Because as some of you may know, just about three or four weeks ago on December 21, a person was arrested who was on their way from Sacramento to Washington, DC at a speed stop in Iowa. And they asked — the police asked him where he was going, and he was going to Washington, DC to kill Dr. Fauci. And they found in his car an AR-15, and multiple magazines of ammunition. Because he thinks that maybe I’m killing people. 

So I asked myself, “Why would Senator want to do this?” So go to Rand Paul website, and you see “Fire Dr. Fauci” with a little box that says, “Contribute here.” You could do $5 $10 $20 $100. So you are making a catastrophic epidemic for your political gain. So the only thing — the only thing that I can —

Paul: You have politically attacked your colleagues, and in a politically reprehensible way, you’ve attacked their reputations.

Fauci: The only thing that I can think of —

Paul: — You won’t defend it, you won’t argue it, you’ll simply turn around the attack.

Fauci: — No, no —

Murray: Okay we — I’m sorry this — we’re going to continue this hearing, we have a number of questions from other senators —

Fauci: Yeah, Right. Just one — one more minute, please, if my —

Murray: Dr. Fauci, I really appreciate your response, but we do have a number of questions from senators and we do have a second round and I’m being asked to make sure that we — everybody has their time. So thank you.

Fauci: Thank you very much for allowing me, Madam Chair.

Senator Roger Marshall: You have an annual salary in 2020 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? After all, your colleague Dr. Walensky, and every member of Congress submits a financial disclosure that includes their investments.

Fauci: 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 — 35 years — they’ve been directly —

Marshall: But the big tech giants are doing an incredible job of keeping it from being public. We’ll continue to look for it.

Fauci: What?

Marshall: Where would we find it?

Fauci: What? All you have to do is ask for it. I— I — you’re so misinformed. It’s extraordinary. All you have to do is ask for it.

Marshall: Why am I misinformed? This is a huge issue. Wouldn’t you agree with me that — that you have a — you see things before members of Congress would see them, so that there’s an air of appearance that — that maybe some shenanigans are going on? You know, I don’t think that that’s — I assume that’s not the case.

Fauci: Wha are you talking about? My — my financial disclosures are public knowledge and have been so. You are getting amazingly wrong information.

Marshall: So — I — I cannot find them —

Fauci: — What are you talking about?

Marshall: Our office cannot find them. Where would they be if they’re public knowledge? Where?

Chairwoman Patty Murray: Senator — Senator —

Fauci: It is totally accessible to you, if you want it.

Marshall: For the public? Is that accessible to the public?

Fauci: To the public. To the public.

Marshall: Great. We look forward to reviewing it.

Murray: Senator Marshall.

Fauci: You are totally incorrect.

Murray: Senator Marshall.

Marshall: Well we look forward to reviewing it.

Murray: Senator Marshall, Dr. Fauci has answered you. It is public information and he’s happy to give it to you if you were to ask. [Moving to next Senator] Senator Moran.

Fauci: [Hot mic] What a moron. Jesus Christ. 

 

EXCLUSIVE: White House watchdog CLEARED Dr. Fauci, the highest paid government employee, of violating the Hatch Act when he criticized Trump’s handling of the COVID pandemic just four days before the election 

Reporting by Rob Crilly

A federal watchdog cleared Dr. Anthony Fauci of breaching rules designed to prevent civil service employees engaging in political activities after a conservative group complained he criticized President Trump’s handling of the COVID pandemic days before the 2020 election.

Protect the Public’s Trust claimed Fauci violated the Hatch Act during an interview with the Washington Post.

In its complaint, the group said the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases criticized Trump and praised then presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Asked about the difference between their approaches, Fauci said Biden’s campaign ‘is taking it seriously from a public health perspective.’ Trump is ‘looking at it from a different perspective.’

And he contradicted Trump’s optimistic assessment the country was ’rounding the turn.’

Dr. Anthony Fauci has the target for conservatives ever since he took on a key role in the Trump administration's pandemic response. They have questioned his policy proposals and accused him of undermining Trump and efforts to reopen the country

Dr. Anthony Fauci has the target for conservatives ever since he took on a key role in the Trump administration’s pandemic response. They have questioned his policy proposals and accused him of undermining Trump and efforts to reopen the country

In its complaint, Protect the Public's Trust accused Fauci of criticizing Trump's handling of the pandemic and praising Joe Biden's campaign just days ahead of the 2020 election

In its complaint, Protect the Public’s Trust accused Fauci of criticizing Trump’s handling of the pandemic and praising Joe Biden’s campaign just days ahead of the 2020 election

‘We’re in for a whole lot of hurt. It’s not a good situation,’ he said.

‘All the stars are aligned in the wrong place as you go into the fall and winter season, with people congregating at home indoors,’ he said. 

‘You could not possibly be positioned more poorly.’

On Tuesday, Protect the Public’s Trust revealed the results of an inquiry by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel.

It said the OSC noted that the statement came just days before the election and stated that it ‘generally advises employees that it is best not to discuss candidates for partisan political office when speaking in their official capacity. 

While ultimately finding no technical violation, the OSC’s Deputy Chief conceded that the Washington Post author ‘may have written it from a particular perspective and tried to use Dr. Fauci’s words to make a political point.

Michael Chamberlain, director of Protect the Public’s Trust, said: ‘The highest-paid employee in the federal government, and one of the most influential public voices, should be held to the highest standards of conduct.

‘Unfortunately, as the Office of Special Counsel noted, Dr. Fauci disregarded its best practices around the Hatch Act and enabled his official position to be used ‘to make a political point’ even if his motives were unclear. 

‘We respect OSC’s determination that this was a “close call” but believe the American public deserves more from officials such as Dr. Fauci.’ 

Fauci has been a frequent target of conservatives, angered by his support of lockdowns and his changing position on the merits masking, for example.

His pay has also attracted scrutiny in recent weeks.

Fauci, now chief medical adviser to Biden, earned $434,312 in 2020, making him the highest paid federal employee.

The 81-year-old is also on course to collect the biggest federal government retirement package in U.S. history with his annual payment exceeding $350,000, according to a Forbes estimate.

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk

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