A government watchdog group has been demanding key information on Dr. Anthony Fauci's financial and professional history, but the public may only get Fauci's disclosures a little at a time, the group's head says.
Adam Andrzejewski, CEO of OpenTheBooks.com commented on his ongoing legal battles attempting to open Fauci's financial and professional records to the public.
"During the pandemic, Dr. Fauci has handsomely profited from his federal employment, royalties, travel perks, and investment gains," Andrzejewski asserted.
OpenTheBooks.com filed its first Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on Jan. 28, 2021. The National Institute for Health acknowledged the request but stayed silent for months. When they finally heard back in May, they received a meager 51 pages of information with redactions.
"Not included was Dr. Fauci's current employment agreement including all addendums and modifications; current job description; and confidentiality and conflict of interest documents," OpenTheBooks.com said.
While Fauci's disclosures are theoretically open to any member of the public who requests them, they aren't listed in the same searchable database as other federal officials and it can take months for a request to be finished.
Openthebooks.com continued asking for more documents from the National Institute of Health and its related agencies. Correspondence from the government became even more dismissive, pushing Andrzejewski to threaten a lawsuit.
Eventually, the watchdog group partnered with the legal activist group Judicial Watch.
Andrzejewski said that the group had filed suit on Oct. 25, 2021, and "that suit moved fast in federal court."
"And the agency admitted they were holding 1,200 pages subject to our request," he recalled. "So think about this, we got 51 pages – there were redactions – and there's 1,200 pages."
"So they admitted to holding 1,200 pages that were subject to the request and 3,000 pages of line-by-line royalty payments," Andrzejewski said. "Every line is a potential conflict of interest and there's up to 1,000 NIH scientists receiving royalty payments. It's legal, but it should be disclosed."
The original FOIA request demanded "all calendars or calendar entries for Dr. Anthony Fauci, including calendars maintained on Dr. Fauci’s behalf. For calendars or calendar entries created electronically, the records should include the names of invitees, notes, and other attachments for a given entry."
The NIH has, at last, agreed to make the requested documents public – but not right away.
The agency has stated that it has 768 pending FOIA requests, with 633 backlogged. The NIH has also had 33 lawsuits related to the backup of requests.
Because of this backup, the NIH said that it will only be able to distribute the thousands of pages 300 at a time, monthly.
Republican Sen. Roger Marshall of Kansas has started his own battle to open the NIH's records.
Marshall said that he and his office had been trying to get Fauci’s financial information and other information but had gotten nowhere. At the hearing, Fauci claimed that he had submitted a disclosure and that it was publicly available.
"I don’t know why you’re asking me that question," Fauci said. "My financial disclosure is public knowledge and has been for the last 37 years or so, 35 years that I’ve been director."
Marshall asked where he could find it, and Fauci replied, "All you have to do is ask for it. You’re so misinformed it’s extraordinary."
Marshall spoke about what happened when he tried to get the information he wanted.
"And it takes the NIH, it takes this White House months to respond to any type of request for information, and then it’s redacted. It’s quite a game they’re playing. So I was shocked, I was shocked by his response, that he would lie to Congress again after he had already lied about the viral gain-of-function question that I asked him earlier," Marshall said.
OpenTheBooks.com gained momentum in January 2021 when they released a report showing that Fauci was the highest-paid federal employee in the nation.
Fauci's salary has been listed at $417,608 – higher than the salary for the president. Fauci has also netted the most valuable federal retirement package in U.S. history – when he retires he will receive approximately $350,000 per year.