Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Dr. Anthony Fauci on Thursday engaged in another testy exchange during a Senate hearing.
Fauci testified remotely before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee after he tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday.
Paul, a Fauci critic since early on during the pandemic, asked President Joe Biden's top medical adviser 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-year-old director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), said that between 2015-20, the only royalties he had received were on the monoclonal antibodies that his lab created.
"During that period of time, my royalties ranged from $21 a year to $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."
Paul had begun his questioning asking Fauci about approval 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 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.
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