Dr Anthony Fauci, the leading infectious diseases expert of the United States, will testify before a Senate committee through video conferencing on Tuesday, making his first appearance before Congress since March. Fauci will appear alongside Dr Robert Redfield, the director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other US officials to discuss economic revival amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Senator Lamar Alexander, the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labour, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, announced on Sunday that the committee hearing would take place over video conference.
"After consulting with Dr. Fauci, and in an abundance of caution for our witnesses, senators, and the staff, all four Administration witnesses will appear by videoconference due to these unusual circumstances," Alexander said in a statement.
Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn and Assistant Secretary for Health Brett Giroir will also be seen at the virtual hearing.
Fauci is scheduled to testify despite undergoing quarantine after he was exposed to a White House staffer who tested positive for the deadly virus. Fauci told one of the news agencies that he is at "low risk" of contracting the disease, based on the kind of exposure he had to the staffer.
Dr Anthony Fauci’s testimony before the Senate comes after US President Donald Trump’s administration blocked him from appearing before a House committee to discuss spending on COVID-19 testing. President Trump told reporters last week that he does not want officials to appear before House Democrats, who hold the majority.
"The House is a setup," Trump said. "The House is a bunch of Trump haters."
Last week, the White House Office of Legislative Affairs sent a memo to all House and Senate committee staff directors that blocks all members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force from appearing before a congressional committee without the permission of the chief of staff Mark Meadows.
(Image credits: AP)