Nearly two years into the global pandemic, many of you are ready to snap, if you haven’t already. You’ve masked up, social distanced, gotten vaccinated. You’ve canceled plans, missed birthdays, and done everything you’ve been told. Yet this virus persists, ruining lives and fucking shit up. And that’s probably made you want to scream, a lot. Into the void. At the government failures. At the ivermectin-pushing podcast hosts. At the people saying just “drink urine.” And at the colossal imbeciles who’ve somehow made it to the halls of power where they have spent the last 22 months spouting complete and total bullshit instead of actually trying to put an end to this thing so life can go back to some semblance of normalcy. And while it won’t do anything to change the fact that there’s no end in sight for COVID-19, it might help, just a tiny bit, to know that when you want to yell, “Jesus Christ, you stupid fucking idiots,” you are not alone. Dr. Anthony Fauci is right there with you.
During a congressional hearing on Tuesday, the infectious disease doctor had the unfortunate opportunity to be questioned by Senator Roger Marshall, who used his time not to, for example, ask about the Kafkaesquetestingsituation in the U.S. but to imply that Fauci is somehow financially invested in keeping the pandemic going. Apparently unaware that the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has submitted financial disclosures for more than 30 years, Marshall asked, as a staffer put a giant fake check on an easel behind him: “Dr. Fauci, according to Forbes, [your] 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. [Rochelle] Walensky and every member of Congress submits a financial disclosure that includes their investments.”
To that, a both irritated and confused Fauci responded, “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.”
Apparently unaware of how literally anything works but sensing a possible government cover-up he was about to get to the bottom of, Marshall replied: “Well, 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 told him, referring to information act requests and still stunned that a member of Congress could be ignorant about these things. “You’re so misinformed, it’s extraordinary.”
“Why am I misinformed?” Marshall asked, refusing to be put out of his misery. “This is a huge issue. Wouldn’t you agree with me that you see things before members of Congress would see them so there’s an air of appearance that maybe some shenanigans are going on?” (Speaking of “an air of…shenanigans,” Marshall himself was more than 17 months late in disclosing some of his financial information last year, leaving him in violation of the federal STOCK Act. He’s also fought vaccine mandates, said more than a year into the pandemic that he wasn’t “convinced” masks did anything to stop the spread, and cosponsored a bill to prohibit masking requirements on public transportation.)
“What are you talking about?” a fully exasperated Fauci asked. “My financial disclosures are public knowledge and have been so. You are getting amazingly wrong information.”
“I cannot find them,” Marshall responded as everyone in the room no doubt nearly died of secondhand embarrassment. “Our office cannot find them, where would they be if they’re public knowledge.”
“It is totally accessible to you if you want it,” Fauci explained again.
“For the public, is it accessible to the public?” Marshall asked, presumably thinking he finally had Fauci right where he wanted him.
“[Yes] to the public,” Fauci told him.
“We look forward to reviewing it,” Marshall said.
Then, probably thinking his mic was off but who actually knows, Fauci muttered, “What a moron, Jesus Christ.” And really, can you blame him?
“What happens when [Paul] gets out and accuses me of things that are completely untrue,” Fauci said, “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.” He referenced a California man who was arrested in Iowa in December who police say was traveling to D.C. with an AR-15 rifle and multiple magazines of ammunition, and allegedly told the police that he was “going to Washington, D.C., to kill Dr. Fauci.”
Meanwhile, as the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases receives threats on his life he says thanks to Paul, the senator from Kentucky makes money. Holding up screenshots of the lawmaker’s website, Fauci noted that next to a line that reads “Fire Dr. Fauci” there’s “a little box that says contribute here. You can do $5, $10, $20, $100,” Fauci said. “So you are making a catastrophic epidemic for your political gain.”
Paul, of course, rejected any and all responsibility, saying it was “disappointing for you to suggest that people who dare to question you are responsible somehow for violent threats.” Later, the senator’s campaign reportedly sent out a mass fundraising email with the subject line “Fauci is hysterical.”
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