The White House forbids ALL members of Trump’s coronavirus task force to testify without signing off
The White House is continuing its efforts to dissuade members of the Coronavirus Task Force from testifying in Congress – and is extending a new policy to all members of the team amid the government’s response to the crisis.
The move comes after the White House Dr. Anthony Fauci had been prevented from testifying before a House Appropriations Committee surveillance hearing on Wednesday, calling the under oath session “counterproductive.”
The policy extends over the month when U.S. coronavirus infections and deaths lurk.
“For the month of May, no members of the Task Force, or key representatives of Task Force members, should accept hearing invitations,” said a White House memo, Real Clear Politics reported, with exceptions only with “the express approval of the chief of staff.’
Fauci is expected to testify in the Senate, where Republicans are in control and consent has been obtained.
BLOCKED: The White House will not allow Dr. Anthony Fauci testifies before Congress next week. Other officials must restrict their appearance without express permission from the White House Chief of Staff
It was not immediately clear to what extent the new policy would exclude the House from supervision. The Democratically Governed House Oversight Committee is demanding data on a coronavirus outbreak in the USS Roosevelt, but says it has received nothing.
Home speaker Nancy Pelosi condemned the move, suggesting it was related to new funding the administration needed, while reviewing Trump’s daily coronavirus briefings.
“I was hoping they would spend more time on the crisis instead of the daily shows the president would run,” she told CNN. ‘We have to use resources for this. In order to do that, every bill has to be presented in Parliament and we need the information to act, ”she added.
“So the fact that they said we’re too busy to be on TV to come to the Capitol is just business to them. But it is not the things that help. ‘
The extent of the crackdown was not immediately clear. “No more than one hearing regarding COVID should be agreed with the appropriate Home and Senate Authorization Committee and the Subcommittee on Appropriations for the Ministry of Health and Human Services, the Ministry of Homeland Security and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” the hill reported.
The command of Fauci, which has built a national profile, broke Friday afternoon in a week in which Fauci appeared at a briefing of the White House coronavirus, but was absent at others.
Task Force Coronavirus Coordinator, Dr. Deborah Birx, called the behavior of the maskless protesters in Michigan “devastatingly worrying” on “Fox News Sunday.” The White House forbids members of the task force to testify to Congress under oath without express permission
The White House coronavirus coordinator, Dr. Deborah Birx (L) and Secretary of Health and Health Alex Azar attend the announcement that the Food and Drug Administration has granted urgent approval for the antiviral remedy in the Oval Office at the White House on May 1, 2020 in Washington, DC
Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks at a meeting between President Donald Trump and Governor John Bel Edwards, D-La., About the coronavirus response, at the Oval Office of the White House, Wednesday, April 29, 2020, in Washington. Task Force members have regularly appeared alongside Trump
The Commission of Adjustments sought Dr. Anthony Fauci as a witness at the Hearing of Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee next week on COVID-19’s response. A government official informed us that the White House Dr. Fauci has held back from testifying, “House Appropriations panel spokesman Evan Hollander said in a statement.
He did not identify the official who prevented Fauci from appearing at the Wednesday hearing.
Although the House of Representatives is absent this week on the advice of the Capitol doctor, the committees try to resume supervision, also remotely. The senate returned to session on Monday.
Fauci is expected to appear before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on May 12.
White House spokesman Judd Deere confirmed in a statement that the White House opposed his appearance for the powerful subpanel panel, which provides spending on health and work programs.
While the Trump administration continues its government-wide response to COVID-19, including opening America safely and accelerating vaccine development, it is counterproductive to have those individuals involved in those efforts appear at Congressional hearings , “said Deere.
BUSY SCHEDULE: Dr. Anthony Fauci (L), director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks alongside Response Coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force Deborah Birx, during a meeting with US President Donald Trump and Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards D -LA at the White House Oval Office in Washington, DC on April 29, 2020
Reporters have sometimes questioned Fauci about President Trump’s controversial statements about the virus
Fauci has sometimes attended the White House briefing that lasts up to two hours, and even spoke to the nation about the virus through early morning television interviews. He also appeared on podcasts and other platforms to communicate with people about the disease.
The clash comes when Trump calls for a “ pause ” on coronavirus relief, even though Pelosi has called for a trillion dollar effort to help states and cities.
“I think we want to take a break. But if we do that, we have to have something for it, “Trump said Thursday.
“We are determined to work with Congress to testify at the right time,” he said.
Fauci has warned of the risks of lifting social distance guidelines. During press conferences, reporters often try to ask questions that prompt him to check President Trump’s claims – such a statement last week that people should look at disinfectant injection as a possible coronavirus treatment.
While the Trump administration continues its government-wide response to COVID-19, including opening America safely and accelerating vaccine development, it is counterproductive to have the individuals involved in those efforts appear during Congressional Hearings – White House spokesman Judd Deere
Trump appeared with Dr. Debbie Birx, who chairs the Coronavirus task force on Friday, calling her a leading expert in the field of AIDS.
Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, forwarded new information about the drug remdesivir this week. He noted the “clear, significant, positive effect in shortening the recovery time” of hospitalized coronavirus patients.
Lawmakers will certainly try to grill him under oath about what he believes about the virus’s origins – Trump said on Thursday that it may have come from a laboratory in China, despite what the director of the national intelligence agency has announced – and the response from the government.
More than 1 million Americans are infected with more than 60,000 deaths from the coronavirus.
New York credit chairman Nita Lowey and Connecticut subcommittee chair Rosa DeLauro issued a statement stating that the nation deserved a “clear view” of the way forward, but stopped bashing the White House for the decision.
Congress and the U.S. public deserve a clear view of the path to be taken to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the short term, that includes what our federal government does in the areas of surveillance, testing, contact tracking, quarantine, social distancing, and the production and distribution of personal protective equipment, ” they said.