"'What an idiot. Jesus Christ.'”
On Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci testimony from critical Republican senators who accused the government's top infectious disease expert of trying to "take down" some scientists who disagreed with him. But it was something Fauci didn't want to share with the Senate that may have garnered a lot of attention.
On a live microphone, Fauci could be heard remarking, "What an idiot." The statement came after a Republican questioner, Senator Roger Marshall of Kansas, just accused him of using financial disclosure forms required of officials , to hide. "You are so misinformed that it is extraordinary," Fauci replied, saying those documents are publicly available upon request.
Fauci also had a strong back-and-forth with Sen. Rand Paul. The Kentucky Republican has long been a vocal critic of Fauci, who has accused Paul of personal attacks to raise funds.
Fauci said Paul's website has a "fire Dr. Fauci page and a call for political donations ranging from $5 to $100. He said that Paul used Fauci criticism for political reasons.
"There you go again, you just do the same thing at every hearing," Fauci said, accusing Paul of stirring up anger — something Fauci said leads to his life being threatened.
Fauci expressed frustration that so far into the pandemic, the senator is still "blaming me for things that are completely untrue" and "igniting the crazies out there."
He pointed to the arrest last month of a California man who was pulled over for speeding in Iowa and told a sheriff's deputy he was headed to the nation's capital to kill a list of those in power — including Fauci. Court documents show the man, Kuachua Brillion Xiong of Sacramento, had an AR-15 rifle, ammunition and body armor in the car.
Paul, meanwhile, said that in emails with a colleague, Francis Collins, Fauci attempted to create "a rapid and devastating published decline" from three doctors from Harvard, Oxford and Stanford. "Instead of getting her involved, you and Dr. Collins is trying to smear them as fringe and take them down, not in lay press magazines," Paul said. "Not only is this contrary to scientific method, it is the epitome of cheap politics and reprehensible, Dr. Fauci."
Paul also continued his allegations on Twitter:
The Associated Press contributed to this report.