Dr. Anthony Fauci continued his rivalry with U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) during a hearing on Capitol Hill this week.
He also extended his criticism to another Senate Republican, whom he labeled “a moron” in one exchange caught on a hot microphone.
Background on the contentious Senate committee hearing
According to The Hill, Fauci’s remark came in response to a line of questioning by Sen. Roger Marshall (R-KS).
Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) stepped in to end the back-and-forth, essentially rescuing the increasingly perturbed Fauci from Marshall’s pointed queries.
Marshall had cited a Forbes report published in October that detailed the roadblocks its reporters had faced in attempting to obtain Fauci’s financial disclosure documents.
For his part, the chief White House medical adviser was clearly incensed upon hearing the questions and insisted that his disclosures were publicly available.
After asserting that Marshall was “totally incorrect” and “misinformed,” Fauci lowered his voice to apparently address someone nearby. “Jesus Christ” and “what a moron” were nevertheless audible in a recording of the hearing.
“Alleviated the stress of the least trusted bureaucrat in America”
Marshall addressed the situation in a press release that provided the senator’s response as well as a reiteration of the three basic questions he sought to raise during his interaction with Fauci.
The first issue dealt with the doctor’s plummeting approval rate, in particular its impact on the public’s trust in his guidance on pandemic-related matters.
Marshall also wanted to know more about recently disclosed military documents that appear to contradict Fauci’s prior denials of any so-called gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China. Finally, the senator noted Fauci’s high salary and asked why his financial disclosure forms were apparently so hard to find.
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
As for Marshall’s take on the matter, asserting that Fauci’s decision to call him a moron “may have alleviated the stress of the least trusted bureaucrat in America, but it didn’t take away from the facts.”