/House panel set to grill Anthony Fauci, CDC director on Trumps coronavirus response as states see spikes

House panel set to grill Anthony Fauci, CDC director on Trumps coronavirus response as states see spikes

WASHINGTON – Dr. Anthony Fauci is among those scheduled to testify before House lawmakers on Tuesday about the Trump administration’s coronavirus response, a hearing that comes as states working to reopen their economies have seen a spike in COVID-19 cases.

Fauci, the top infectious-disease expert at the National Institutes of Health will appear before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. He will be joined by Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention; Stephen Hahn, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration; and Brett Giroir, assistant secretary for health for Health and Human Services.

The hearing comes as states ramp up reopening efforts and a growing number see spikes in the number of cases – such as Florida, which recently reported a record number of daily cases. 

Coronavirus has infected 2.3 million Americans and killed more than 120,000. 

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It also comes amid continued scrutiny over President Donald Trump’s handling of the virus and nationwide protests over racism and police brutality, which sent hundreds of thousands marching into streets amid the pandemic.

Trump received a new batch of criticism after holding a campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, last week – something that concerned some health experts – and for telling the crowd he asked for a slow down on testing. 

“Here’s the bad part: When you do testing to that extent, you’re going to find more people, you’re going to find more cases,” Trump said. “So I said to my people, ‘Slow the testing down, please.'”

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Fauci was last on Capitol Hill in May, when he testified before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and warned senators that reopening efforts by states needed to be done cautiously because it presents a “real risk that you will trigger an outbreak.”

At the time, the White House made Fauci available to testify before the Republican-controlled Senate but did not for the Democratic-controlled House. After Fauci was barred from appearing before House lawmakers, Trump called the House a “bunch of Trump haters.”