Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, will testify Friday morning in front of the House of Representatives’ special select committee investigating the coronavirus and the Trump administration’s response.
Fauci testified a month ago about potential school reopenings and Friday’s hearing comes just days after the United States passed 150,000 coronavirus deaths and many states are struggling with spiking numbers of cases.
The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis was established by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in late April and is chaired by Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C. California Democrat Maxine Waters is on the committee as well as Ranking Member Steve Scalise, R-La., and Jim Jordan, R-Ohio.
The committee investigates the efficiency of coronavirus-related spending and the preparedness and response to the outbreak, according to its website.
Testifying along with Fauci are Dr. Robert Redfield, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and “testing czar” Admiral Brett Giroir, a Health and Human Services official and physician.
The hearing, titled “The Urgent Need for a National Plan to Contain the Coronavirus,” will likely focus on fall school reopenings, testing and a potential vaccine, according to The New York Times. They will also talk about futures challenges.
“If there is COVID-19 and flu activity at the same time, this could place a tremendous burden on the health care system related to bed occupancy, laboratory testing needs, personal protective equipment and health care worker safety,” their prepared testimony said.
The Trump administration at first refused to allow Fauci to testify before the committee and the president and Fauci have sometimes disagreed.
“The House is a setup,” Trump told reporters in May. “The House is a bunch of Trump haters. They put every Trump hater on the committee. The same old stuff. They, frankly, want our situation to be unsuccessful, which means death.”
Fauci has stressed the need to wear masks and social distance while President Trump has been focused on reopening the economy and the importance of sending children back to school in the fall.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.