Many believed Dr. Anthony Fauci was retiring in December 2022, based on comments the former Coronavirus Task Force leader made last year.
But Rand Paul isn’t so sure. The senator thinks Fauci might still be working on the government’s dime.
According to Fox News, on Tuesday Senator Paul’s office sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and the head of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), asking for “additional information regarding Dr. Fauci’s employment status and receipt of taxpayer-funded benefits.”
Fox News reported, “Paul noted that Fauci said in various media interviews late last year that he was ‘not retiring’ but was going to the ‘next chapter’ and ‘moving on from [his] current positions,’ which also included being President Biden’s chief medical advisor.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci is making his last scheduled appearance in the White House Press Briefing Room before retiring to promote getting COVID-19 booster shots. pic.twitter.com/4Kng1nCWlX
— CBS News (@CBSNews) November 22, 2022
Paul said in the letter, “While many interpreted these statements to mean Dr. Fauci would be ending his employment with the federal government in December 2022, it is not clear if that is in fact the case.”
“This raises questions about Dr. Fauci’s current employment status and whether he is still receiving certain taxpayer-funded benefits associated with active public service, such as legal counsel and protective services,” he added.
Fauci and Paul went toe-to-toe many times over the doctor’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, including famously over the potential origins of the virus.
Paul posited more than once that there was evidence that COVID-19 possibly was created in a lab in Wuhan, China where gain-of-function research took place funded by the U.S.
Fauci originally denied such claims, though later the NIH admitted such research had been conducted and the U.S. government footed the bill. Paul would also accuse Fauci of covering up the potential funding.
Paul was called a conspiracy theorist at the time when making his accusations, but by March of this year even the FBI admitted that a lab leak of the type the senator described was “most likely” the origin.
Saturday is Anthony Fauci's last day as a federal employee. The New York Times spoke to him at his home office in Washington about his career and plans for the future. He said he may be retiring, but he is not going away. https://t.co/xQSZD9bCnt pic.twitter.com/NxEUTBZJre
— The New York Times (@nytimes) December 29, 2022
Fox News reported, “A Capitol Hill source told Fox News Digital that the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, of which Paul is the top Republican, was meant to be notified whether Fauci’s security status ended at the end of his employment with the administration, or if it was extended somehow.”
“The source said the panel has not heard anything from the administration six months after Fauci said he was done,” the report added.
So, is Fauci still working for the government or not? At the very least, taxpayers deserve to know.