White House allows Fauci to testify before GOP-led Senate about virus response after banning him from Congress hearing – The Sun

THE White House has given the go-ahead for Dr Anthony Fauci to appear before a Republican-led Senate committee.

The move comes after the top coronavirus expert, who has become the face of the fight against the pandemic, was barred from testifying before a Democrat-led House committee

Dr Fauci, who has been a scientific in the president's press briefings, was blocked from appearing at the House of Representatives Appropriations committee.

The Trump administration argued his appearance would be "counterproductive" while he continues to participate in the government's responses to the pandemic.

But the White House said they will allow Fauci to testify at a Senate Health Committee hearing on May 12, a spokesperson for its committee Chairman Lamar Alexander, told NBC news.

"Chairman Alexander looks forward to hearing from Dr. Fauci and other administration officials at the Senate health committee’s second hearing back, which will be on Tuesday, May 12," the statement read.

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 and later the The White House issued a statement in response.

"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 said.

"We are committed to working with Congress to offer testimony at the appropriate time."


It's not muzzling, it's not blocking, it's simply trying to ensure we're able to balance the need for oversight.

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

Trump and the Democratic-controlled House have repeatedly clashed over lawmakers' attempts to investigate administration actions.

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.

"It's not muzzling, it's not blocking, it's simply trying to ensure we're able to balance the need for oversight, the legitimate need for oversight, with their responsibilities to the Covid-19 word at their respective agencies and departments," said the White House official.

Speaking to Science Mag of President Trump, Dr Fauci previously said: "Even though we disagree on some things, he listens.

"He goes his own way. He has his own style, but on substantive issues, he does listen to what I say."

Dr Fauci has delivered scientific information that has contradicted Trump's statements, causing friction between the pair.

When Trump began holding daily briefings, Dr Fauci was a prominent figure and answered questions and offering medical advice.

But as time went by, he has attended fewer briefings with his more cautious approach clashing with Trump's eagerness to reopen businesses and rebuild the economy.

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