Roger Marshall Responds to Fauci Calling Him a 'Moron'

Senator Roger Marshall (R-KS) has responded to Dr. Anthony Fauci calling him a "moron" during a hot mic moment at a hearing of the Senate Health Committee on Tuesday.

The Republican issued a statement following the incident as well as tweets critical of Fauci, who is director of the the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

Fauci was heard saying "What a moron" and "Jesus Christ" during a tense exchange with Marshall during which the senator brought up Fauci's annual salary and financial records.

Marshall, who is a medical doctor, took to Twitter in response to Fauci's hot mic comment.

"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. We need the truth Dr. Fauci!" Marshall tweeted.

In a statement shared on his website, the senator said for Fauci "being called out about his personal financial disclosure during the COVID pandemic NOT being publicly available must be very frustrating."

That statement also referenced gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China. Republicans have repeatedly clashed with Fauci about whether the National Institutes of Health (NIH) provided funding for such research

Marshall also send a tweet to highlight a Rasmussen Reports poll showing Fauci with a high disapproval rating. He had mentioned this during the Senate hearing on Tuesday and in his subsequent statement.

"59 percent of Americans do not have a favorable opinion of Fauci," the senator tweeted, along with a graphic depicting the infectious diseases and the figure in question.

During tense exchanges on Tuesday, Marshall asked Fauci about his salary and financial disclosures which eventually led to the hot mic moment.

"So Dr. Fauci, according to Forbes, your annual salary in 2020 was $434,000," Marshall said. "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?"

"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.

The senator went on: "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 that do you have to do is ask for it. You're so misinformed. It's extraordinary," Fauci said.

Marshall and Fauci continued a back-and-forth about the NIAID director's financial records and as the senator's questioning wrapped up, Fauci could be heard to say "What a moron" and "Jesus Christ."

Roger Marshall Attends a Confirmation Hearing
Senator Roger Marshall, R-KS., questions Xavier Becerra, President Joe Biden's nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee at the Capitol in Washington, DC, on February 23, 2021. Marshall has responded to Dr. Anthony Fauci calling him a "moron" during a hot mic moment. LEIGH VOGEL / POOL / AFP/Getty Images