Fauci to testify before Congress as coronavirus cases rise in US
These simple steps can offer “the same value for money as if we had just shut down the whole economy,” said a frustrated Dr Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adding that he had studies to support. .
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Looking ahead, Fauci said he was “cautiously optimistic that we will have a vaccine by the end of this year and as we move into 2021. I don’t think this is a dream … I believe it is. is reality (and) will turn out to be reality. . As the government’s leading infectious disease specialist, Fauci heads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Under orders from the White House, federal health agencies and the Department of Defense are implementing a plan dubbed Operation Warp Speed to deliver 300 million doses of vaccine on a compressed schedule. This will only happen after the Food and Drug Administration determines that one or more vaccines are safe and effective. Several candidates are being tested.
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Don’t look for a nationwide mass vaccination right away, Fauci told lawmakers. There will be a priority list based on the recommendations of the science advisers. Topping the list could be critical workers, such as medical staff, or vulnerable groups such as the elderly with other underlying health issues.
“But at the end of the day, within a reasonable time frame, the plans now allow any American who needs a vaccine to get it by 2021,” Fauci said.
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Fauci, Redfield and the Department of Health and Human Services are ‘testing the tsar’ Admiral Brett Giroir testified at a time when early progress against the coronavirus appears to have been wasted. A high number of new cases is obscuring the country’s path. The three officials appeared before a special House panel to investigate the government’s response to the pandemic, itself sharply divided along party lines.
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Nearly 4.5 million Americans have been infected with COVID-19 and more than 150,000 have died. In recent weeks, the virus has rebounded in the South and West, and increases are now seen in the Midwest. Bottleneck testing remains a major problem.
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When asked about the possibility of providing coronavirus test results to patients within 48-72 hours, Giroir acknowledged that “this is not a possible benchmark that we can reach today given the demand and the offer.
But rapid and widespread testing is essential to contain the pandemic. This makes it easier for public health workers to trace the contacts of an infected person. Delayed test results do not allow more people to become infected.
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Giroir said that a two to three day time frame “is absolutely a benchmark that we can reach for moving forward. ”
While hospitals can typically provide internal test results within 24 hours, large commercial labs that do about half of the tests for the country take longer, especially with an outbreak of new cases.
The latest government data shows around 75% of test results come back within 5 days, but the rest take longer, Giroir told lawmakers.
The bitter politics surrounding the US response to the coronavirus was evident during the hearing of the Special House subcommittee on the coronavirus crisis.
As health officials testified, President Donald Trump tweeted a false claim that a high number of cases in the United States are due to extensive testing. Committee chairman James Clyburn, DS.C. tried to call on Fauci to rebut the chairman.
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And Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, tried to pressure Fauci to say that protests against police violence against black Americans are spreading the virus and should be curbed. Fauci didn’t bite.
“You make all kinds of recommendations,” Jordan said, targeting Fauci. “You commented on dating, baseball and anything you can imagine… I’m just asking you to try to limit the protests?”
Fauci said it was not his role to speak out on reducing political protests. But Jordan fired back, noting that church services were closed due to virus precautions, and implying that Fauci has a double standard on two First Amendment rights, religious freedom and free speech.
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“I don’t favor anyone over anyone,” Fauci replied. “And I don’t judge a crowd against another crowd. When you are in a crowd, especially if you are not wearing a mask, it causes spread. ”
Some Trump supporters have urged the president to sack Fauci, and the president’s tweet raised the issues.
During the hearing, Clyburn had displayed a graph showing an increase in cases in the United States juxtaposed to lower levels across Europe. This caught the president’s attention.
Trump tweeted: “Please tell Congressman Clyburn, who has no idea, that the graph he presented showing more CASs for the United States than for Europe, is because that we do MUCH MORE testing than any other country in the world. “
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Clyburn turned to Fauci for a real-time fact-check.
“Now, Dr Fauci,” the president intoned, “do you agree with the president’s statement, or do you maintain your previous answer that the difference is caused by several factors, including the fact that some states don’t haven’t done a good job of reopening? ”
Fauci responded directly.
“I stand by my previous statement that the increase in cases was due to a number of factors,” he said. One was “that in attempting to reopen, in certain situations states did not strictly adhere to guidelines issued by the task force and the White House.”
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