Sen. Roger Marshall, a first-term Republican from Kansas, is hoping a hot-mic moment with Dr. Anthony Fauci this week — Fauci whispered to a colleague that Marshall was a moron — leads to a groundswell of support for his bill that would force the publication of White House officials’ financial records.
The bill, titled the Financial Accountability for Uniquely Compensated Individuals (FAUCI) Act, would also require the Office of Government Ethics, or OGE, to publish a list of government officials whose financial disclosures are not publicly available, according to multiple outlets.
Federal law does not require OGE to post the annual reports of qualifying officials, including Fauci, on its website but only to make them available to the public, noted FactCheck.org.
Marshall clashed with the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and top White House medical adviser during a Senate hearing Tuesday after the senator asked Fauci: “Would you be willing to submit to Congress and the public a financial disclosure that includes your past and current investments?”
“My financial disclosure is public knowledge and has been so for the last 37 years or so,” said Fauci, who called Marshall “so misinformed, it’s extraordinary.”
“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.
Immediately after the exchange, Fauci was heard remarking near a live microphone, “What a moron. Jesus Christ.”
Marshall brushed off the remark, telling Fox News that he “did not take it personal one bit.”
“Well, I think we were both very much in the moment,” he said.
According to Marshall, an obstetrician before entering elective politics, his office had attempted to track down Fauci’s financial records “for weeks.” After putting in requests to both the doctor’s staff and the National Institutes of Health, which houses the Fauci-led NIAID, the senator was unable to obtain them, he said.
“It takes the NIH, it takes this White House months to respond to any type of request for information, and then it’s redacted,” he told Fox. “It’s quite a game they’re playing. So I was shocked, I was shocked by his response, that he would lie to Congress again after he had already lied about the viral gain-of-function question that I asked him earlier.”
Questions over the origins of the virus that sparked the Covid-19 pandemic have resurfaced a debate over a controversial type of research that can involve altering the genetic information of viruses. WSJ’s Daniela Hernandez explains gain of function. Illustration: Sebastian Vega
Marshall requested Fauci hand over unredacted copies of his financial records to his office by Friday.
Following Tuesday’s exchange, nonprofit organizations confirmed that such financial disclosures as Fauci’s are available to the public but in some instances can be difficult to obtain.
FactCheck.org said Fauci’s 2019 report, obtained with redactions in 2020, “shows he is invested in money markets, bond funds and equity funds, and provides the amounts of unrealized gains or losses for those accounts in 2019.”
Most of Fauci’s funds appeared to be managed via a Schwab One trust account at Charles Schwab & Co. SCHW, +2.30%, according to FactCheck.org, a service of the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center.
The multistep process for securing the forms from the OGE could be more user-friendly, observed FactCheck.org.
The Center for Public Integrity weighed in with a post headlined “A senator couldn’t find Fauci’s financial info. But we did.”
It’s unclear why the National Institutes of Health processed the 2019 disclosure using the Freedom of Information Act, leading to the redactions that Marshall complained about, the center said. The NIH did not immediately respond to a New York Post request for comment.
The center said it requested Fauci’s 2020 financial disclosures this week.