Republican Senator Roger Marshall of Kansas was humiliated last week during a hearing for the Senate Health Committee, where Marshall interrogated National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Fauci has become one of the most polarizing public officials in the face of the pandemic, with Republicans railing against him as a "petty tyrant" for advising mask mandates and supporting widespread vaccinations—an approach at odds with the GOP's constant dismissal of the pandemic's severity.
During the committee hearing, Marshall claimed that Fauci, the highest paid employee of the federal government, was concealing his financial records from the public. In reality, decades' worth of Fauci's financial disclosures are available on request.
Fauci told the Senator during the hearing:
"All you have to do is ask for it. You're so misinformed. It's extraordinary."
Marshall insisted that his team couldn't find any of Fauci's financial documentation, and—in a statement following the exchange—continued to lie that Fauci's financial records are not available. He later tweeted Fauci's unredacted financial records to his followers.
The Senator's effort to vindicate his vague accusations against Fauci's finances continued on far-right Fox News host Sean Hannity's show, where Marshall accused Fauci of allying with China through his investments.
Senator Marshall accuses Fauci of lying to Congress about the accessibility of his financial information. He then accuses Fauci of investing in China referencing the financial information before admitting that investment is through a mutual fund pic.twitter.com/CkOQCpvikc
— Acyn (@Acyn) January 18, 2022
"Dr. Fauci and his spouse made almost $2 million during 2020. A significant amount of these investments are investments are in China or Hong Kong. He had significant investments in China through one of his mutual funds."
Mutual funds, of course, are not allocated directly by their investors but by professional money managers. This is perfectly common—so common that Marshall himself has invested in mutual funds with holdings in China.
Democratic consultant Tim Hogan noted this, while Josh Israel of the American Independent reviewed Marshall's 2020 financial disclosures and found investments of more than $75 thousand in mutual funds with Chinese assets.
He's also one of several Republican Senators to do so, as the American Independent points out:
"These include Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Ted Cruz of Texas, Josh Hawley of Missouri, and Rand Paul of Kentucky — each of whom reported on their 2020 disclosures that they or their spouse held at least one mutual fund with some Chinese or Hong Kong investments."
Hannity's viewers may have bought into Marshall's propaganda, but social media users were calling B.S.
.@SenatorMarshall evil and dishonest to a civil servant: posts Fauci's unredacted financial disclosures, then turns a few % of Fauci's total investments in a broad international mutual fund into "substantial investments in China". Total hit job. https://t.co/MwEk1pC9Y4
— David Burbach (@dburbach) January 18, 2022
So @RogerMarshallMD, a #Jan6th inciter and seditious conspirator, didn’t know wtf he was taking about in Dr. Fauci’s last hearing? Big surprise. Don’t tell him that China may still be the largest foreign purchaser of US T-bills. https://t.co/J0oQWPqNiO
— Geo Steve (@StephenGlahn) January 18, 2022
always accuse others of what you are doing. The republican brand in a nutshell. https://t.co/wHR6eYifFt
— Andy Bloom (@AndrewWBloom) January 18, 2022
This shows how the Republikkkans call out people for the very things that they do. And mutual funds are something that may not be explicitly evident to the fund owner. https://t.co/kPM0QjXM34
— Patty Smith (@PattySm16264397) January 18, 2022
Stunning lack of self-awareness... https://t.co/oAGF62uBlf
— Steven Pifer (@steven_pifer) January 18, 2022
I just can't even think about how moronic these people are... https://t.co/p7bZpylAwr
— Robert to the rescue (@boblambo) January 18, 2022
Others pointed out just how common foreign holdings are in mutual funds.
I have a broker. My broker works for a brokerage house. My broker has people who manage my funds. Those people who manage my funds are invested all over the world. Just like anyone else who owns mutual funds through a broker. https://t.co/sEAyEeCeBW
— Gary (@gscucci) January 18, 2022
Anyone who owns a mutual fund, including me, invests in Chinese equity. https://t.co/iqo0ezH8kc
— Lentement mais surement, on réussit 🐢 (@HarlemJ11) January 18, 2022
For all I know, *I* own some, too! Clearly, we are all Chinese agents. https://t.co/XTE4xlfVh0
— Steve Sebelius (@SteveSebelius) January 18, 2022
During their original exchange at the Senate Health Committee, Fauci was overheard on a hot mic calling Marshall a "moron." To his critics, Marshall seems determined to validate that perception.