I have a quarrel with Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Biden’s top health advisor, over his recent description of Sen. Roger Marshall (R-KS) as “a moron.”

The doctor was much too complimentary.

But in Fauci’s favor, his opinion of Marshall did provide a window into the rough ride our country faces as we enter an election cycle sure to be awash in the senator’s brand of disregarding actual fact.

You’ll recall that at a recent Senate hearing, Marshall asked Fauci if he’d be willing to submit financial disclosures to Congress.

After Fauci replied that he’s been filing a government financial disclosure for years, Marshall replied, “Where would we find it?” 

“All you have to do is ask for it,” said Fauci, who then offered his assessment of the senator over an open mike he thought was off.

Lest you think Marshall, elected to the Senate in 2020, isn’t capable of gathering information when he wants to, here’s a self-description on his website: 

“Senator Marshall is a former Congressman for Kansas’ Big 1st District, a physician, devoted father, grandfather, and husband… After graduating from Butler County Community College, Dr. Marshall received his Bachelor’s degree from Kansas State University and received his Medical Doctorate from the University of Kansas… During his time in medicine, Dr. Marshall was more than a physician, he was a business owner signing a paycheck every other week for 25 years for as few as 5 people, but eventually more than 300 people.” 

This is the same Marshall who disputed the results of the 2020 presidential election, and announced he would oppose certification of the Electoral College count.

Last May, he voted against creating an independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. 

Marshall is said to have voted with Donald Trump’s positions more than 97 percent of the time.

His supposed inability to find Fauci’s disclosures is fascinating, since according to the website LegiStorm, which tracks Senate staffing levels, Marshall in 2020 and part of 2021 had access to a support system of 35 people who were paid hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The job titles include staff assistant, special assistant, adviser, director, intern, service coordinator, policy director, and information technology director.

Just for the record, here at Shalom Acres, our little hobby farm in Greenville’s Apple Valley, I can avail myself of a support system consisting of one hard-working wife, two miniature horses, and two Tibetan terriers.

Wondering about Senator Marshall’s difficulty in tracking down Fauci’s financials, I ignored my staff, and embarked on a search myself. In half a minute I had on my computer screen Fauci’s 42-page financial disclosure filing for 2020. 

That’s why the doctor’s accidentally aired opinion of Marshall doesn’t go nearly far enough – the senator’s supposed befuddlement seems shrewder and more disturbing than innocently moronic.

As for the actual substance of Marshall’s implication that Fauci’s disclosures are hidden: Here on the farm we muck that sort of thing every day.

Gerry Goldstein (gerryg76@verizon.net) is a retired Providence Journal editor and columnist.

Gerry Goldstein

Gerry Goldstein, an occasional contributor to What's Up, is a retired Providence Journal editor and columnist who has been writing for Rhode Island newspapers and magazines for 60 years