Politics

Dr. Fauci, Rand Paul engage in another war of words

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Dr. Anthony Fauci on Thursday engaged in yet another war of words during a Senate hearing.

Paul began by questioning Fauci about his justification for COVID-19 booster shots for children over 5 years old. “If I give a patient 10 mRNA vaccines and they make protein each time, or they make antibodies each time, is that proof we should give 10 boosters, Dr. Fauci?” Paul asked. “No, I think that is somewhat of an absurd exaggeration,” Fauci replied.

Paul, a critic of Fauci since early on during the pandemic, said it was not “an absurdity” because such studies had been used by NIAID committees.

Fauci admitted that not enough data had been accumulated to indicate a reduction in hospitalization for deaths for children who had received boosters.

“So there are no studies — and Americans should all know this — there are no studies on children showing a reduction in hospitalization or death with taking a booster,” Paul said.

Fauci, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, was testifying remotely before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

Paul asked Fauci whether he could say that he hadn’t “received a royalty from any entity that [he] ever oversaw the distribution of money in research grants.”

As Fauci attempted to respond, Paul insisted it wasn’t just about the doctor’s financial disclosures but about those of every National Health employee.

“Everybody on the vaccine committee — have any of them ever received money from the people who make vaccines? Can you tell me that? Can you tell me if anybody on the vaccine approval committees ever received any money from the people who make the vaccines?” Paul asked.

“Sound bite No. 1 — Are you going to let me answer a question?” said Fauci, who, following a few seconds of silence, continued.

“Let me give you some information. First of all, according to the regulations, people who receive royalties are not required to divulge them even on their financial statement according to the Bayh Dole Act.”

The Bayh-Dole Act, also known as the Trademark Law Amendments Act grants people the ability to own inventions arriving from federal government-funded research.

Fauci, 81, said that between 2015 and 2020, the only royalties he had were on the monoclonal antibodies that his lab created. “During that period of time, my royalties ranged from $21 a year to $7,700 a year and the average per year was $191.46,” Fauci testified.

Paul tried to continue questioning, but committee Chair Sen. Patty Murray cut him off. “Sen. Paul, your time has long over-expired,” Murray, D-Wash., said. “I gave you an additional two-and-a-half minutes. The witness has responded, we are going to move on.”

As Paul continued his line of questioning, committee chair Senator Patty Murray cut him off, telling him, “Senator Paul, your time has long over-expired.”

“I gave you an additional two-and-a-half minutes. The witness has responded, we are going to move on,” she said.

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: CNN

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