(CBrief) – Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul accused Dr. Anthony Fauci and other government health officials of taking the wrong approach in assessing COVID-19 vaccines by refusing to consider people’s prior infections.
During a hearing before a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, the Kentucky Republican suggested that government vaccine committee members have not disclosed whether they received any royalties from companies making the vaccines.
Paul says they will launch an investigation if Republicans win back control of the Senate in November’s midterms.
“We’ve been asking you and you refused to answer whether anybody on the vaccine committees gets royalties from the pharmaceutical companies,” Paul said.
“I asked you last time, and what was your response? We don’t have to tell you. We’ve demanded them through the Freedom of Information Act. And what have you said? We’re not going to tell you. But I tell you this, when we get in charge, we’re going to change the rules and you will have to divulge where you get your royalties from, from what companies, and if anybody in the committee has a conflict of interest, we’re going to learn about it. I promise you that,” Paul added.
“They are not my committees,” Fauci said to Paul during the hearing.
Fauci announced last month that he would depart his roles as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and as chief medical officer to President Joe Biden at the end of this year.
“I am announcing today that I will be stepping down from the positions of Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and Chief of the NIAID Laboratory of Immunoregulation, as well as the position of Chief Medical Advisor to President Joe Biden. I will leave these positions in December of this year to pursue the next chapter of my career,” Fauci said.
Biden released a statement praising Fauci, saying he had an “unwavering” commitment to the work and an “unparalleled spirit, energy, and scientific integrity.”
“Because of Dr. Fauci’s many contributions to public health, lives here in the United States and around the world have been saved. As he leaves his position in the U.S. Government, I know the American people and the entire world will continue to benefit from Dr. Fauci’s expertise in whatever he does next,” Biden said.
Biden added, “Whether you’ve met him personally, he has touched all Americans’ lives with his work. I extend my deepest thanks for his public service. The United States of America is stronger, more resilient, and healthier because of him.”
BREAKING: Dr. Anthony Fauci announces his resignation as NIAID director effective in December. pic.twitter.com/RJjmEUOK3p
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) August 22, 2022
The timing is interesting given Republicans have said they plan to launch an investigation into Fauci if they win back control of Congress in November’s midterm elections.
Paul has stated numerous times he plans to subpoena Fauci’s records if Republicans retake the Senate.
“If we win in November, if I’m chairman of a committee, if I have subpoena power, we’ll go after every one of [Fauci’s] records,” Paul said. “We’ll have an investigator go through this piece-by-piece because we don’t need this to happen again.”
Ohio GOP Rep. Jim Jordan made similar comments, saying Republicans will “uncover” what Fauci knew about the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.
Republican Kansas Sen. Roger Marshall, an ally to Jordan, released Fauci’s financial records. The records appear to show that Fauci and his wife have a combined net worth of around $10 million.
Records also showed that Fauci and his wife were paid tens of thousands of dollars to attend four galas and ceremonies — three of them virtual — during the pandemic.
Jordan argued that these revelations and recently released emails prove a “need to investigate Fauci.”
“If the American people put us back in charge, we are definitely going to do this,” Jordan said.