Dr Anthony Fauci called Kansas Senator Roger Marshall a “moron” on Tuesday after a tense exchange over Fauci’s financial disclosures, a sign of the increasing hostility between conservatives and one of the nation’s top COVID-19 experts.
Toward the end of a more-than-three-hour Senate Health Committee meeting, Marshall pointed to Fauci’s government salary of more than 400,000 dollars and asked whether he would make his financial disclosure available to the public.
Fauci is a government employee and his financial disclosure forms are available to the public and can be accessed through a Freedom of Information Act request.
“Wouldn’t you agree with me that you see things before members of Congress would see them, so that there’s an air of appearance that maybe some shenanigans are going on?
“I assume that’s not the case,” Marshall said.
When Fauci called Marshall “misinformed” and said his financial disclosure was public information and available upon request, Marshall said his office had been unable to find the information.
As Kansas Senator Jerry Moran prepared to ask a question, Fauci was caught on the microphone saying “what a moron” and “Jesus Christ.”
In a press release after the hearing, Marshall doubled down and said Fauci was “clearly distraught by the line of questioning.”
“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,” Marshall said.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which was headed by Fauci, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Fauci was testifying with Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centres for Disease Control, and Janet Woodcock, acting commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
He said about the current surge of COVID-19 cases spreading through the country as a result of the Omicron variant.
Throughout the pandemic, Fauci has been a target of conservatives who have chafed at the way the government has handled health restrictions.
But nearly two years into the pandemic, tension has ratcheted up between Fauci and conservatives in Congress, where there was a partisan divide over who wore masks in the hallways and in the chamber.
Senator Rand Paul, who has been a frequent critic, has called Fauci “a lead architect” of the government’s response to the virus, from shutting down businesses at the beginning of the pandemic to urging people to wear a mask and get vaccinated.
Earlier in the committee hearing, Marshall, an obstetrician and gynaecologist, questioned Fauci about his role in authorising “gain of function” research, a type of experiment where scientists change a virus to make it more potent as a way to study its effects.
Marshall has said he would like a ban on a gain of function research and has made investigating the origins of COVID-19 a core platform for his first year in office.
Fauci also clashed with Paul over an email exchange between him and former director of the National Institutes of Health Francis Collins.
In which Collins and Fauci discussed how to combat what they called a “fringe” narrative about the pandemic raised by epidemiologists at prestigious universities.
In response, Fauci held up a print-out of Paul’s Senate campaign website, where there was a picture of Fauci next to the text “Fire Dr Fauci” and several buttons where people can make donations to the campaign.
Fauci talked about how he has gotten death threats after similar exchanges with Paul and said a man who was arrested driving from Sacramento to Washington, D.C. with an AR-15 and ammunition said he was going there to kill Fauci.
“He’s doing this for political reasons,” Fauci said.
Fauci has often drawn the ire of activists.
In the 1980s, he was among those criticised for the government’s slow response to the AIDS epidemic.
Members of ACT UP burned him in effigy outside of the NIH building during one protest.
But Fauci, who later became friends with some ACT UP leaders, has drawn a distinction between activists fighting for more resources for people with the disease.
But also those who have criticised him for public health measures intended to decrease the spread of the virus.
Security breach at Lagos airport as thieves gain access to Arik Air aircraft
By Chinelo Obogo
There was security breach at the domestic terminal 2 of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos, as a Boeing 737-73V, with registration number EI-ULN, belonging to Arik Air was burgled and its Flight Management System, stolen.
The FMS is a computer designed to provide virtual data and operational harmony between closed and open elements associated with a flight from pre-engine start and take-off, to landing and engine shutdown.
The aircraft was leased from Eznis Airways LLC, an airline based in Mongolia.
A source at the airline confirmed to Daily Sun that the theft took place in the late hours of Wednesday 19 to the early hours of Thursday 20 and this led to flights cancellations and postponement.
“The aircraft was parked inside the tarmac at MM2 and someone got access to the electorical electronic base where we have all the systems. There is a door underneath the aircraft where they opened and got access to remove the FMC and that was why we had obstruction in our operations that day.
“It is expected that the CCTV should be on and capture whoever did it but we haven’t heard anything to that effect. That equipment that was stolen is a small but it cost a lot of money. To repair it cost about $15,000 and a brand new one cost about $300,000 as at 2021.
“Every item in an aeroplane has serial numbers and can be tracked anywhere in the world, so i don’t know how the thief intends selling it unless the person has a vendor. That is why we believe it is internal sabotage,” the source said.
Bi Courtney, the concessionaire in charge of the terminal was not available for comments at the time of filing this report and the spokesperson of the airline declined commenting.
ECOWAS condemns coup d’état in Burkina Faso
From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), has condemned the coup d’état which took place in Burkina Faso on Monday.
ECOWAS however assured that it will hold an extraordinary summit in the coming days to review the situation in Burkina Faso.
The ECOWAS Commission, in a statement issued in Abuja, said ECOWAS noted that despite calls by the regional and international community for calm and respect for constitutional legality, the situation in Burkina Faso was characterised by a military coup d’état that occurred on Monday, 24 January 2022, leading to the resignation of President Roch Marc Christian Kabore under threat, intimidation and pressure from the military after two days of mutiny.
“ECOWAS strongly condemns this military coup d’état which is a major setback for democracy in Burkina Faso. An ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit will be held in the coming days to review the situation,” the ECOWAS Commission said.
Jigawa: Hisbah arrests 92 prostitutes, seizes 1,906 bottles of alcohol
The Jigawa State Hisbah Command had seized 1,906 bottles of alcohol and arrested 92 persons, including prostitutes, in the state
Commander of the board, Mallam Ibrahim Dahiru, disclosed this to DAILY POST in Dutse, the state capital.
He said the board had seized 1,906 bottles of alcohol in raids carried out by the personnel of the command last year, 2021.
Dahiru said during the operation, the command had also arrested 92 persons on suspicion of various offenses within the last year.
The offenses include gambling, drug abuse, prostitution and other social vices.
He also said that during the period, the Hisbah board had also closed beer parlours and brothels across the state.
Mallam Ibrahim added that the seized bottles of alcohol and suspects were handed over to the police for further investigation.
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