Hot Mic Catches Fauci Calling Senator a 'Moron'

'Most people are going to get COVID,' acting FDA commissioner warns at Senate hearing
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2022 7:25 PM CST
Hot Mic Catches Fauci Calling Senator a 'Moron'
Sen. Roger Marshall, speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing to examine the federal response to COVID-19 and new emerging variants, Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022 on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (Greg Nash/Pool via AP)

(Newser) – Hours after clashing with Sen. Rand Paul during a Senate health committee hearing on the pandemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci was overheard calling another Republican senator a "moron." The remark was picked up on a hot mic after Sen. Roger Marshall of Kansas told the top White House medical adviser he should disclose his personal finances, the Hill reports. Fauci told Marshall he didn't understand why the question was being asked, because his "financial disclosure is public knowledge and has been so for the last 37 years." Marshall told Fauci that "big tech giants are doing an incredible job of keeping it from being public" and asked where the disclosure could be found.

"All you have to do is ask for it," Fauci said. "You're so misinformed, it's extraordinary." In a tweet, Center for Public Integrity reporter Liz Essley Whyte shared Fauci's disclosure and confirmed that she had received it after a request to the National Institutes of Health last year, the Washington Post reports. In a video clip tweeted by Mediaite after the exchange with Marshall, Fauci could be heard saying "Jesus Christ" and "What a moron." In a statement, Marshall said calling him a moron "may have alleviated the stress of the least-trusted bureaucrat in America, but it didn’t take away from the facts." Other Republicans, including Sen. Richard Burr, thanked Fauci for his work fighting the pandemic, though they slammed the Biden administration's handling of issues including a test shortage, the AP reports.

At the hearing, Fauci and other officials defended the administration's handling of the pandemic, though they acknowledged that tough times lie ahead, the New York Times reports. Fauci said the country is facing a "massive, unprecedented surge" of omicron cases. Acting FDA commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock told the panel, "It’s hard to process what’s actually happening right now, which is, most people are going to get COVID." Woodcock said, "What we need to do is make sure the hospitals can still function, transportation, you know, other essential services are not disrupted while this happens." (Read more Anthony Fauci stories.)

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