WASHINGTON (TND) — In a hearing on Capitol Hill Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci’s finances came into question.
Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, is the highest-paid employee within the federal government. One Republican senator asked if Fauci would be willing to make his financial records public knowledge.
“My financial disclosures are public knowledge and have been so. You are getting amazingly wrong information,” Fauci said.
To be clear, federal financial disclosures are running a year behind.
Adam Andrzejewski, the founder and CEO of Open the Books, a non-profit, bi-partisan government watchdog group, filed a lawsuit to get some of the records on Fauci’s income. He joined the National Desk to discuss the matter.
“From his agency at the federal level, we do know that back in 2020, he made $435,000,” Andrzejewski said. “In January of last year, he was the number one most highly compensated federal employee and we had questions: How does a director of a sub-agency — a sub-agency of Health and Human Services — outearn everybody at the federal level, including the president and four-star generals in the United States military?”
Andrzejewski said the agency filed a Freedom of Information Act request to get a copy of Fauci's employment contract with all changes, amendments and modifications to that contract, his conflict of interest statements and his financial disclosures, his job description and a copy of any royalties paid to him from any pharmaceutical companies.
“To say that this information is in the public interest is an understatement,” said Andrzejewski. “In the Senate hearing, Dr. Fauci said that all of this is available but we actually had to file a lawsuit for it.”
According to Andrzejewski, Open the Books threatened the agency with a lawsuit twice before it provided 51 pages of information. They filed the suit in October, which led to the agency saying that there are 1,200 pages of information that will be released at a rate of 300 pages per month.
“With Dr. Anthony Fauci today saying that everything is available, it's just not true,” Andrzejewski said.
The potential conflict of interest is of importance to the public as some wonder if Fauci made any medical decisions or issued guidance that was influenced in any way by his own personal financial interests.
“That's why this database of up to 1,000 scientists at the National Institutes of Health that received royalties, is so important. Every single instance of a scientist at the agency right now receiving a royalty from a pharmaceutical company is a potential conflict of interest, including Dr. Anthony Fauci — if he has received royalties but we had to sue for that database as well.”