In a January article published at Forbes, our auditors at OpenTheBooks.com found that Dr. Anthony Fauci was the highest paid federal employee, earning $417,608 (2019).
Dr. Fauci is still the top-paid federal employee earning $434,312 in 2020. Fauci is the Director of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and current Chief Medical Advisor to the President.
Fauci out-earned the U.S. president ($400,000); four-star generals in the military ($282,000); and roughly 4.3 million other federal employees.
Now, new documents released via our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests from the NIH tell us a lot more. Dr. Fauci received a big pay hike for his biodefense research activities. In other words, Fauci was paid to prevent future pandemics.
The documents released to our non-profit organization OpenTheBooks.com reveal that Dr. Fauci was approved for a “permanent pay adjustment” in excess of his regular salary in December 2004, during the George W. Bush Administration.
From 2004 through 2007, Fauci received a 68-percent pay increase from $200,000- to $335,000-a year. This award was permanent and carried forward through 2020.
Fauci’s permanent pay raise was to “appropriately compensate him for the level of responsibility… especially as it relates to his work on biodefense research activities.”
However, critics say that Fauci was funding research that was actually creating pandemic pathogens in labs that, if leaked or if fell into the wrong hands, might create the very human pandemic they were trying to prevent.
Released here, for the first time, is a portion of NIH’s response to our OpenTheBooks FOIA request. These documents highlight Fauci’s central role in pandemic preparedness funding and biodefense strategies in the years leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Included in the NIH production is a letter, date stamped December 15, 2004, from Dr. Raynard S. Kingston, the then-Deputy Director— which was approved and signed by Dr. Elias Zerhouni, the NIH Director under George W. Bush. The letter reads:
“This is to request that the current retention allowance [(b)(6) redaction] for Dr. Anthony S. Fauci be converted to a permanent pay adjustment in the amount [(b)(6) redaction] over his base pay of [(b)(6) redaction] in order to appropriately compensate him for the level of responsibility in his current position of Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health (NIH), especially as it relates to his work on biodefense research activities.”