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White House blocks Fauci from testifying to Congress on coronavirus response

EconomyMay 01, 2020 10:26PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Dr. Anthony Fauci attends Trump-Bel Edwards coronavirus response meeting at the White House in Washington

By Jeff Mason and Richard Cowan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Top U.S. health official Anthony Fauci will not testify next week to a congressional committee examining the Trump administration's response to the coronavirus pandemic, the White House said on Friday, calling it "counterproductive" to have individuals involved in the response testify.

The White House issued an emailed statement after a spokesman for the House of Representatives committee holding the hearing said the panel had been informed by Trump administration officials that Fauci had been blocked from testifying.

"While the Trump administration continues its whole-of-government response to COVID-19, including safely opening up America again and expediting vaccine development, it is counter-productive to have the very individuals involved in those efforts appearing at congressional hearings," White House spokesman Judd Deere (NYSE:DE) said in a statement. "We are committed to working with Congress to offer testimony at the appropriate time."

Fauci's testimony was being sought for a May 6 hearing by a House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees health programs, said spokesman Evan Hollander. The Washington Post first reported that Fauci would not testify.

Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has been one of the leading medical experts helping to guide the U.S. response to the highly contagious virus that has swept across the United States.

Trump has repeatedly clashed with the Democratic-controlled House over its moves to investigate his actions or those of his administration.

In recent days, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer have urged wide-ranging investigations into Trump's handling of the coronavirus outbreak, which has killed tens of thousands of Americans.

Democrats have criticized Trump, saying he has failed to develop a comprehensive and effective plan for testing Americans for the coronavirus and tracing contacts of those who are infected by the virus that causes the sometimes fatal COVID-19 respiratory disease.

Fauci, 79, has had a respectful but sometimes complicated relationship with Trump.

The well-regarded doctor has at times corrected or contradicted the president at White House briefings or in press interviews on issues such as the time required to develop a vaccine and the likelihood that the coronavirus will return in the fall.

Trump has occasionally shown exasperation with Fauci but ultimately has followed, largely, the advice that he and Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House’s coronavirus task force coordinator, have provided on responding to the pandemic.

Last month, the White House said Trump was not firing Fauci despite his retweet of a supporter’s #FireFauci message.

At the time, White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said: "Dr. Fauci has been and remains a trusted adviser to President Trump."

Aides to Fauci were not immediately available to comment on the House committee's desire to have him testify.

White House blocks Fauci from testifying to Congress on coronavirus response
 

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Comments (31)
Me comment
Me comment May 03, 2020 9:31AM ET
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There goes Trump again obstructing justice. He knows he screwed up the response with his constant denial of the problem because of his lack of understanding a pandemic. Now he will illegally block any investigation to hide his guilt.
maga king
maga king May 02, 2020 11:49PM ET
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fauci have made grave mistakes in his response. the virus is a small flu, why lock everyone at home? the actual death count is small fraction of the official numbers, and most of the dead have preexisting conditions. total overreaction to a tiny flu. you cannot trust any news you read today. it's all fake and manipulated
Adrian White
Adrian White May 02, 2020 11:49PM ET
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You obviously know nothing about virology. The Corona virus is not the flu. Influenza is caused by a totally different and much less contagious virus. And nobody is being "locked at home". People are free to leave their homes when they need to. Try telling the doctors and nurses in the New York hospitals that this is "just a small flu".
Buzzy Jefferson
Buzzy Jefferson May 02, 2020 7:31PM ET
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Fauci is a flaming liberal. He's always riding the fence & can't give a straight answer to anything. That's why he's been worthless during the Wuhan virus ordeal. Just look at all the ridiculously wrong advice he's given.
Adrian White
Adrian White May 02, 2020 7:31PM ET
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Umm you mean like correcting Trump, who has zero medical knowledge or qualifications, everytime he gives dangerous advice about trying untested remedies? The only time Fauci waivers is when he has to figure out how to delicately balance countering the misinformation and dangerous advice Trump gives with trying not to anger Trump enough to get fired.
Adrian White
Adrian White May 02, 2020 7:31PM ET
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Meanwhile, Trump is the king of not giving straight answers. Look how many times he says things like "it could be that or it could be this" or " maybe i will, maybe I won't, we'll see."
Me comment
Me comment May 02, 2020 7:31PM ET
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He is the only one giving straight answers.
Agustinus Biotamalo Lumbantoruan
Agustinus Biotamalo Lumbantoruan May 02, 2020 7:26PM ET
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US has free speech. If Dr Fauci has truth to say, he could do so to the media.
Rob Omes
Rob Omes May 02, 2020 6:47PM ET
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Fauci is not allowed to testify because it will painfully uncover the shortage of this president and his administration.
James Holmgren
James Holmgren May 02, 2020 10:30AM ET
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Trump has already lied over 600 times about the covid 19.
maga king
maga king May 02, 2020 10:30AM ET
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cdc lied!
Chad Ploof
Chad Ploof May 02, 2020 9:25AM ET
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Dems trying to find more article of impeachments. They are getting desperate!!!
James Pattison
James Pattison May 02, 2020 1:27AM ET
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Fauci is an unelected official... he doesnt get to dictate policy... his cdc totally blew testing for this
Jo Joe
Jo Joe May 01, 2020 11:55PM ET
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Do not tell the truth for the great american people. I have to cheat them... -Txxx-
Proble Matic
Proble Matic May 01, 2020 11:42PM ET
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maga king, Im curious to get your opinion about the 30 million jobless claims so far. What theory do you have on this one? Who is skewing with these numbers, and are they lower or higher? What do you think? Fake news or ok news?
maga king
maga king May 01, 2020 11:42PM ET
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lol the dems have been trying everything they can to make things look bad for trump. having seen how dirty they've got, quite possible they inflated the numbers. same applies to the death count. whoever died with the virus are counted as a Rona death. someone died because of heart attack can be counted as well. so the actual number might not even reach 1000
Proble Matic
Proble Matic May 01, 2020 11:42PM ET
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Excellent. And since there are only the two of us in here tonight, i too will also give you a thumbs up just because :)
maga king
maga king May 01, 2020 11:21PM ET
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the rona "task force" has failed miserably. their model first estimated 2mil death then down to 60k, now 75k. just manipulate the numbers to stoke more fear?? all these "experts" have no clue.
Proble Matic
Proble Matic May 01, 2020 11:21PM ET
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Mike, im pround to see you like this. its just you against the world. Straight boomer style. Remind me of my dad. Haha
maga king
maga king May 01, 2020 11:21PM ET
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your name is pretty self explanatory
Proble Matic
Proble Matic May 01, 2020 11:21PM ET
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what about it?
Rehoboam IO
Rehoboam May 01, 2020 11:11PM ET
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As I told you, the info is coming out. https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/coronavirus/bombshell-dossier-lays-out-case-against-chinese-bat-virus-program/news-story/55add857058731c9c71c0e96ad17da60 "Its major themes include the “deadly denial of human-to-human transmission”, the silencing or “disappearing” of doctors and scientists who spoke out, the destruction of evidence of the virus from genomic studies laboratories, and “bleaching of wildlife market stalls”, along with the refusal to provide live virus samples to international scientists working on a vaccine."
SL Soon
SL Soon May 01, 2020 11:11PM ET
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Please don't take seriously on whatsoever articles, publishers, media, etc. They are bias depending on their nations political standing. Based on the logicalness, the covid-19 cases is increasing with the time. Looking at the US cases, it may already happened long time ago.
Rehoboam IO
Rehoboam May 01, 2020 11:11PM ET
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SL Soon  What are you talking about? This is 5 Eyes Intelligence. "Millions of people leave Wuhan after the outbreak and before Beijing locks down the city on January 23," reads the dossier. "Thousands fly overseas. Throughout February, Beijing presses the US, Italy, India, Australia, Southeast Asian neighbours and others not to protect themselves via travel restrictions, even as the PRC imposes severe restrictions at home."
SL Soon
SL Soon May 01, 2020 11:09PM ET
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There is a possibility that Dr Faunci knew something that Trump didn't want public to know.
SL Soon
SL Soon May 01, 2020 11:04PM ET
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Covid-19 detected in China does not mean originated from China. Looking at the current no of cases in the US, covid-19 may have existed in the US for quite a period of time but left undetected. Trump should be investigated over the possibility of his negligence.
리 파
리 파 May 01, 2020 11:04PM ET
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nope
Rehoboam IO
Rehoboam May 01, 2020 11:04PM ET
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리 파  Yep. https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/coronavirus/bombshell-dossier-lays-out-case-against-chinese-bat-virus-program/news-story/55add857058731c9c71c0e96ad17da60
Rehoboam IO
Rehoboam May 01, 2020 11:04PM ET
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"It notes a 2013 study conducted by a team of researchers [in China], including Dr Shi, who collected a sample of horseshoe bat faeces from a cave in Yunnan province, China, which was later found to contain a virus 96.2 per cent identical to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that caused COVID-19. The research dossier also references work done by the team to synthesise SARS-like coronaviruses, to analyse whether they could be transmissible from bats to mammals. This means they were altering parts of the virus to test whether it was transmissible to different species."
du ich
du ich May 01, 2020 11:04PM ET
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DR SHI is only one of the virus reaserchers. Most of the paper coauthors are from US Labs. The long report is just collection of selected and selfish viewpoints.
Geoff Wong
Geoff Wong May 01, 2020 10:50PM ET
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freedom of speak, the states is doing a good example. Anyway anything anytime blame japan, mid east, china is the solution to everything
Silverbug 19
Silverbug 19 May 01, 2020 10:49PM ET
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fauci vaccine king. thank you Trump 2020
François Du
François Du May 01, 2020 10:49PM ET
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thank you Trump for soon 70 000 death, keep on golfing while the house is burning
James Holmgren
James Holmgren May 01, 2020 10:45PM ET
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forget it
Haresh Chandwani
Haresh Chandwani May 01, 2020 10:44PM ET
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USA under dictatorship of trump.. hail trump!!
Zack Persie
Zack Persie May 01, 2020 10:38PM ET
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Trump is saying "counterproductive" to have investigation by Congress now. But then not counterproductive for Trump to subject resources & focus to his China investigation? When Trump administration should be focused on controlling covid-19 in US, like doing his job to ensure sufficient testing capacity for people's safety? Very eager to investigate others but terrified of internal inquiry. Sounds consistent with Trump trying to cover up his own failures, negligence & incompetence, & try to shift blame to others.
Michael Mroz
Michael Mroz May 01, 2020 10:35PM ET
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Check out "China in Focus" NTD News, and understand who started NTD News and why. You might get a better idea of what is really going on. "Nancy the Ripper" needs to get out of politics. She does nothing to help "Make America Great Again"!
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun May 01, 2020 10:06PM ET
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Shutdown save life but it makes us suffer. Our quality of life goes down and it cost us trillions. If he pushed for test all from day 1, it would cost us less than 100billions. But then it is not his job to take care the econ,people pocket. Therefore shutdown in his eyes is a perfect solution.
Adrian White
Adrian White May 01, 2020 10:06PM ET
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Not exactly. Fauci has been calling for more testing all along. But meanwhile, science shows that social distancing works best until a vaccine is available. The best combination is to open but with enough testing and proper safety precautions. Ask Trump why they don't have enough testing capability still now, weeks after he stood at the CDC and lied that anybody who wanted a test could get one.
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun May 01, 2020 10:03PM ET
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Fauci is trictly academia. It is not wrong but it is not practical in life either. These doctors #1 care is life, dont care much about the econ.
maga king
maga king May 01, 2020 9:24PM ET
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guess what pulled the fauci and bill gates together? vaccines! stop bill gates and his mass vaccination plan!
Adrian White
Adrian White May 01, 2020 9:24PM ET
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Maga, so I guess you're one of those anti-vaxers, are you? Figures. That's right, it's all a big conspiracy just to vaccinate you against your will. lol. Oh yeah, and the Earth is flat, too.
steven gitt
steven gitt May 01, 2020 8:56PM ET
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they should investigate pelosi and the other democrat politicians who are on record in february calling trump a racist xenophobe for limiting travel from china and encouraging people to not be worried an gather in large crowds for chinese new year or else you are a racist. AOC even was telling people to go eat out at restaurants because of racist trump. all on video. they are busy trying to rewrite history because they know they are in big trouble this election with a terrible candidate biden so they are still playing these ugly political anti-trump games. why trumps approval keeps going up and democrat approval keeps dropping.
Buzzy Jefferson
Buzzy Jefferson May 01, 2020 8:56PM ET
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EXACTLY!
Adrian White
Adrian White May 01, 2020 8:56PM ET
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Not true at all. Pelosi and other dems were never telling people to"gather in large crowds". They were simply encouraging people to eat at Chinese restaurants the same as you normally would. The point being that at that time Chinese restaurants didn't pose any more risks than any other restaurants. And keep in mind that nobody had contracted the virus domestically at that time. Trump on the other hand continued to encourage people to crowd at his rallies for many weeks after that, saying the virus was nothing to worry about and accusing dems of over reacting for taking it seriously. Even going so far as to say the whole thing was a "Democrat hoax" made up just to try and make him look bad.
steven gitt
steven gitt May 01, 2020 8:54PM ET
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democrat , they are driven only on pure hatred. non-stop investigations that lead nowhere on the taxpayer dime because they are upset their candidate didnt win in 2016 and have been digging their own grave ever since.
Adrian White
Adrian White May 01, 2020 8:54PM ET
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When are u going u stop trying to make everything about 2016? Move on already. Investigations are how facts are learned, and oversight of the administration is part of the job of every Congress.
 
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