WASHINGTON – The White House will allow Dr. Anthony Fauci to testify next week at a Senate hearing on the federal government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic but has blocked him from appearing at a similar hearing in the House.
In remarks to reporters Tuesday, President Donald Trump confirmed Fauci’s appearance before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on May 12. But he defended the decision to bar Fauci from testifying before a House subcommittee, claiming that hearing was “a setup.”
“The House is a bunch of Trump haters,” Trump said at the White House before departing for a trip to Phoenix. “They put every Trump hater on the committee.”
The House Appropriations Committee had sought Fauci’s testimony at a subcommittee hearing on Wednesday to look into the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed nearly 70,000 Americans.
But the White House last week barred Fauci from appearing before the panel, saying that at a time when the administration is busy fighting the spread of the coronavirus and working to reopen the economy, “it is counterproductive to have the very individuals involved in those efforts appearing at congressional hearings.”
Trump’s comments on Tuesday suggested that political considerations also played a role in the decision.
House Democrats “don’t want us to succeed,” Trump told reporters. “They want us to fail so they can win an election, which they’re not going to win.
“They do everything they can to make things as bad as possible,” Trump said, adding that Fauci “looks forward” to appearing before the Senate panel.