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Covid doesn’t stop Anthony Fauci from taking on Rand Paul — again

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“Are you going to let me answer a question?” Fauci joked amid a flurry of interruptions from Paul, who is also a doctor. “Soundbite number one,” he added.

sen. Paul first asked Fauci if there was direct scientific evidence that booster shots prevent hospitalization and death in all people 5 years and older. When Fauci noted that the booster recommendations were based on assumptions and antibody data, Paul replied, “If I give a patient 10 mRNA vaccines and they… make antibodies every time, is that proof that we should give 10 boosters.” , Dr. Fauci?”

“I think that’s a bit of an absurd exaggeration,” Fauci said.

sen. Paul then changed his question about the royalties scientists at the National Institutes of Health may have received from companies, especially vaccine makers. “Can you tell me you didn’t receive a royalty from an entity that once oversaw the distribution of money in research grants?” he asked.

As Fauci tried to answer, the two who often bumped into each other during the pandemic continued to bicker and interrupt each other.

Finally, HELP Committee Chair Patty Murray (D-Wash.) broke off the argument. “Sen. Paul, your time has long passed. I have given you an extra two and a half minutes, the witness has replied, we continue,” she said.

The topic at hand: Along with Fauci, Robert Califf, the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration testify; Dawn O’Connell, assistant secretary for preparedness and response, and Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, appeared before the HELP committee to discuss the White House’s request for additional Covid-19 funding to maintain the federal public health response and surveillance programs.

Murray and other Democrats expressed support for the request, while Ranking Member Richard Burr (RN.C.) and other Republicans called for more accountability from the agencies before approving more funding.

On vaccinations and treatments: When asked about the timing for vaccines for the youngest children, Fauci said he thought it would likely happen soon. “The data looks really good, so I expect it to happen,” he said.

The FDA’s Vaccine Advisory Committee has recommended that the agency approve the injections on Wednesday. Expected FDA approval is coming soon. And the CDC’s vaccine advisory committee will meet Friday and Saturday to consider the shots. The vaccines could be in the arms of toddlers as early as next week.

On infant formula: Amid news that severe weather flooded Abbott’s Sturgis, Michigan, infant formula plant Wednesday night, Califf said he believed the latest disruption would not exacerbate the lingering shortage.

Despite the shutdown, Califf expects a surplus of formula in the next two to three weeks, assuming companies can meet production estimates and no new natural disaster affects production.

“One thing that has happened is that we are now getting production data from all the companies involved,” Califf said. “It amounts to an excess of the needs shown by the number of babies that have been bottle-fed in recent years. So we should easily exceed that number.”

Returning to Office: Republican lawmakers expressed concern that current remote work policies could negatively impact HHS workforce productivity.

“Let me read from Elon Musk asking Tesla employees to go back to 40 hours a week. “The higher you are, the more visible you have to be,” Sen said. Bill Cassidy (R-La.). “If you’re underperforming and you don’t show up, that’s not good stewardship,” he added.

At the request of Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.) If remote work limited workplace performance, each of the four witnesses said it didn’t.

“I’m just saying that I was with Google before, unlike Elon Musk,” Califf said. “I think Google is doing pretty well with their hybrid program.”

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