Fauci testifies on coronavirus response

Dr. Anthony Fauci director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases speaks during a roundtable on donating plasma at the American Red Cross national headquarters on Thursday

Jordan said Fauci had advocated for "certain businesses to be shut down", arguing that he hadn't "seen one hair stylist who, between haircuts, goes out and attacks police or sets something on fire, but we've seen all kinds of that stuff during protests and we know the protests actually increased the spread of the virus".

He said that meant when countries began to relax rules and open up their economies as spring turned to summer, virus cases soared in America, because the infection rates had not dropped to as low a level as seen in Europe.

"Ultimately, within a reasonable period of time, the plans now allow for any American who needs a vaccine to get it within the year 2021", Fauci said. He added that while Europe dropped down to just a few thousand new cases a day, the US bottomed out at 20,000 new cases a day, which created a hard baseline with which to work.

Also during Friday's hearing, House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.), who chairs the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, asked Fauci why the USA has more confirmed cases of coronavirus than Europe.

"I said crowds", said Fauci.

Following weeks of questions about their relationship, Fauci joined Trump Thursday at the American Red Cross headquarters - the first time they met in person since June 2 - for a roundtable to raise awareness of the importance of donating plasma. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) butted heads with Fauci over what he called the politicization of the COVID-19 response, especially the reopening of schools. Public health experts, including Fauci himself, publicly warned Trump against making such claims without evidence to support them.

A rebound of cases across the South and the West has dashed hopes for a quick return to normal life. Problems with the availability and timeliness of testing continue to be reported.

He added that any crowded gatherings where people were not wearing face masks posed a risk.

Some Trump supporters have urged the president to sack Fauci, and the president's tweet raised the stakes. "Dr. Anthony Fauci had a different explanation saying it's due in part to how the US shut down".

Trump has for months touted the benefits of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for people infected with coronavirus, despite the fact that early on, no clinical trials had been completed proving the drug safe and effective. High numbers of new cases cloud the nation's path.

Democrats say they intend to examine the "urgent need for a national comprehensive plan" to address the pandemic, according to a news release sent by the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, which is chaired by House Majority Whip James Clyburn.

A drive-through testing centre is shown earlier this month in Inglewood, Calif. Admiral Brett Giroir, part of the administration's coronavirus task force, admitted that many test results are not coming back promptly. That includes the need to wear masks, avoid crowds and practice good hand hygiene, he said.



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