Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images Dr. Anthony Fauci
The Republican senator who Dr. Anthony Fauci called a "moron" on a hot mic last week is now trying to profit off the viral moment — selling shirts that show an image of the infectious disease expert, alongside the word "MORON."
"Fauci called Sen. Marshall a 'MORON' when he caught him flat-footed," a description for the $29 shirt reads. "Send Fauci a message by getting your own 'MORON' t-shirt!"
The release of the merchandise comes a week after Fauci, 81, was caught calling out Sen. Roger Marshall during a Senate hearing that grew heated as Marshall questioned Fauci about his finances (incorrectly, Fauci said).
During the White House adviser's appearance before the Senate Health Committee earlier this month to discuss the federal response to new variants of COVID-19, Marshall — a Kansas lawmaker — insisted that he couldn't find Fauci's financial disclosures, public information that the Biden administration's chief medical adviser on COVID-19 said he has released for over three decades.
"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?" Marshall began, seated before an oversized, fake check for $434, 212 — Fauci's salary in 2020, per government records. "After all, your colleague Dr. [Rochelle] Walensky and every member of Congress submits a financial disclosure that includes their 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 said.
Marshall continued, alleging that "Big Tech" was "doing an incredible job of keeping it from being public, and adding, "We'll continue to look for it. Where would we find it?"
"All you have to do is ask for it. You're so misinformed, it's extraordinary," Fauci fired back.
After the senator alleged "there's an air of appearance that maybe some shenanigans are going on," Fauci could be heard muttering off-camera, "What a moron, Jesus Christ."
Speaking about the incident to MSNBC later, Fauci said, "It was stunning to me that a United States senator doesn't realize that my financial statement is public knowledge. It was just like, where have you been?"
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, numerous Republican lawmakers have made criticizing Fauci part of their political brand.
Republican Sen. Rand Paul, for instance, has gotten into multiple heated exchanges with Fauci, at points claiming that Fauci had lied to Congress and calling face masks "theater."
In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis has also profited off of anti-Fauci sentiment, selling "Don't Fauci My Florida" merchandise around the time coronavirus cases were spiking in his state.
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