WASHINGTON: The White House has blocked the participation of its leading infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, in a hearing in Congress on the US coronavirus response.
The House of Representatives Appropriations Committee will hold a hearing on May 6 on how the United States government handled the Covid-10 outbreak.
"The committee sought out Dr. Anthony Fauci as a witness at next week's hearing on Covid-19's response. An administration official informed us that the White House has prevented Dr. Fauci from testifying, "said panel spokesman Evan Hollander.
But committee chair Nita M. Lowey said the hearing would continue as scheduled. "Congress and the American public deserve a clear vision of the way forward to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic," said Lowey, a New York congresswoman.
The hearing will focus on what "our federal government is doing in surveillance, testing, contact tracing, quarantine, social distancing and the production and distribution of personal protective equipment," he said.
Dr. Tom Frieden, former Director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. USA And one of the world's leading public health experts will testify.
In a statement to the Washington PostThe White House said it would be "counterproductive" to allow Dr. Fauci to testify before Congress amid government efforts to combat the coronavirus.
"We are committed to working with Congress to offer testimony at the appropriate time," White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere said in the statement.
However, Dr. Fauci will appear before a panel of the United States Senate on May 12 to discuss the virus that has already killed more than 66,000 Americans and infected more than 1.3 million.
Democratic opponents dominate the lower house of the United States Congress, while Republicans have a majority in the Senate. President Trump is also a Republican.
"The people of this country deserve a federal government that is up-to-date, modernized and prepared to protect lives," said Lowey, a Democrat, as he explained why the panel was holding this hearing.
The US media, while reporting on the development, noted that "there has been a past tension between Dr. Fauci and President Trump," which could have forced the White House to stop the doctor's appearance before the panel of the camera.
During recent White House briefings on the coronavirus, Dr. Fauci became known for his direct and pointless approach to discussing the disease, even if that meant contradicting President Trump's statements. He also said at one of these briefings that the administration could have acted earlier to prevent the outbreak.
Posted in Dawn, May 3, 2020