Fauci resists Republican effort to turn testimony against protesters

Cheryl Sanders
August 2, 2020

Under direction from the White House, federal health authorities are carrying out a plan dubbed Operation Warp Speed to manufacture 300 million doses of the vaccine on a compressed timeline.

Perhaps ironically, during this same hearing where Scalise lamented the politicizing of a health care crisis, his Republican colleague Jim Jordan repeatedly tried to make United States chief immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci voice his opinion on whether the government should limit or ban Black Lives Matter protests over coronavirus concerns as it did with businesses and large gatherings.

"We hope that by the time we get into late fall and early winter, we will have in fact a vaccine that we can say that would be safe and effective", said the senior expert.

"I don't understand what you're asking me, as a public health official, to opine on who should get arrested or not", Fauci responded.

A coronavirus vaccine could be ready for distribution by the end of the year, and distributed to Americans in 2021, the nation's top infectious disease specialist told lawmakers Friday.

"Regrettably, almost six months after this virus claimed its first American life, the federal government has still not yet developed and implemented a national strategy to protect the American people", Chair Clyburn said.

More than 250,000 people have already registered their interest in participating in clinical trials, Fauci said.

The trial, which will be conducted at US clinical research sites, is expected to enroll approximately 30,000 adult volunteers who do not have COVID-19. "I'm not in a position to determine what the government can do in a forceful way". On Friday, Fauci refused to say whether large protests should also be suspended.

In any case, Fauci said: Yes, he was involved and agreed. "You make comments on dating, on baseball and everything you could imagine".

"I'm not sure - how do you mean? You should stay away from crowds, no matter where the crowds are".

"If we tested less, there would be less cases. If we tested less, there would be less cases".

As news of the vaccine deal broke, Fauci appeared in the televised briefing alongside Dr. Robert R. Redfield, director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Brett P. Giroir of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Giroir said a two- to three-day turnaround "is absolutely a benchmark we can achieve moving forward".

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

"I don't know how many times I can answer that", Fauci replied. Some Trump supporters have urged the president to sack Fauci, and the president's tweet raised the stakes. But the veteran of battles against AIDS and Ebola has stuck to his message, while carefully avoiding open confrontations with the Trump White House. It's a public health statement.

"When you're in a crowd, particularly if you're not wearing a mask, that induces the spread".

"The administration's approach of deferring to states, sidelining experts and rushing to reopen has prolonged this virus and led to thousands of preventable deaths", said panel Chairman James Clyburn, who denounced Trump's coronavirus response as "among the worst of any country in the world". For mask wearers, there's also some evidence that they can offer a degree of protection from an infected person nearby.

"Wrong!" said Trump, in his retweet of a video, shared by CBS News, showing Dr. Fauci testifying before congress this week on the spike in numbers.

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