Fauci, White House COVID-19 task force officials testify on Capitol Hill

Coronavirus India will have key role in developing vaccine says US health expert Anthony Fauci

On Friday morning, leading infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci and other members of the White House coronavirus task force testified before a House subcommittee on the Trump administration's coronavirus response.

But if the future looks encouraging, public health alarms are still going off in the present. "In fact, there are many, very internationally respected doctors that are involved in each of those decisions.by and large, would you say that you and President Trump have been in agreement on most of those decisions?"

Fauci said the US did not shut down at the same level that Europe did.

He first pointed out that many European countries locked down more wholly than the US.

"They've really got to jump all over that because if they don't then you might see the surge we saw in some of the Southern states", he told the AP. "I believe it's a reality (and) will be shown to be reality".

Dr. Anthony Fauci the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases was asked why Europe has been able to largely contain the virus while the U.S. has seen a rise in new cases.

But Steve Scalise, the subcommittee's top Republican, dismissed Clyburn's criticism as political posturing, saying the Trump administration has provided effective plans for schools, employers, nursing homes and vaccine development. Topping the list could be critical workers, such as as medical personnel, or vulnerable groups of people such as older adults with other underlying health problems.

Governments should start taking financial risks in scaling up production of vaccines to meet demand, but when vaccine candidates get regulatory approval, companies and governments should not take short cuts as this can endanger patients, said Fauci.

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In addition to Fauci, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield and Admiral Brett Giroir, assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services, also testified. And the resurgence of COVID-19 in the Sunbelt in recent weeks has driven the number of new daily cases back up into the 60,000-70,000 range. The three officials appeared before a special House panel investigating the government's pandemic response, itself sharply divided along party lines. Some have pointed to HIV, and the struggle to find a vaccine for that virus, wondering how can one for COVID-19 be made so soon? Testing bottlenecks remain a major issue.

But rapid, widespread testing is critical to containing the pandemic.

As the health officials were testifying, President Donald Trump in a tweet repeated a false claim that high numbers of US cases are due to extensive testing. "And in those situations in which you were not, that led to the surging that you're showing on your chart there", he told Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), the chairman of the committee.

"Yes, sir, I was", Fauci answered. "You make comments on dating, on baseball and everything you could imagine".

Fauci said it's not his role to opine on curbing political protests.

"Crowding together, particularly when you're not wearing a mask, contributes to the spread of the virus".

Fauci's dogged persistence has drawn the ire of some of President Donald Trump's supporters and prompted a new round of calls for his firing.

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