Fauci optimistic on COVID-19 vaccine availability

Fauci optimistic on COVID-19 vaccine availability

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) got into a heated exchange with Dr. Anthony Fauci on Friday while discussing the impact the nationwide protests have had on the spread of COVID-19. "I'm not going to opine on limiting anything".

"When you sing and you protect your voice, the aerosols of the virus come out", he said, contradicting Centers for Disease Control recommendations on socially distanced worship. "I don't think it's dreaming".

But Steve Scalise, the subcommittee's top Republican, dismissed Clyburn's criticism as political posturing, saying the Trump administration has provided effective plans for schools, employers, nursing homes and vaccine development.

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.

In his defense, Fauci said he was "not favoring one crowd versus another crowd".

Fauci said the reason for the surge in cases boiled down to some states not following gateway guidelines that recommended only loosening restrictions when certain parameters were reached.

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"So you're allowed to protest - millions of people on one day, in crowds, yelling, screaming - but you try to run your business, you get arrested?"

Fauci's testimony at a hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee on the coronavirus crisis came at the end of a month in which U.S. coronavirus deaths rose by nearly 25,000 and cases doubled in at least 18 states, according to a Reuters tally, dealing a crushing blow to hopes of quickly reopening the economy. "The irony, of course, is that if the president put the full weight of the federal government towards containing this pandemic, which has cost more than 150,000 Americans their lives, instead of focusing so much on his re-election, he would be in much better shape politically".

Lawmakers pressed Giroir about the availability of tests and long wait times.

He said controlling the outbreaks will require people to wear masks, avoid crowded indoor spaces and wash their hands frequently.

The hearing comes as the number of new COVID-19 cases keep appearing at a worrisome pace.

Citing a study he noted had been peer-reviewed, Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., said that the use of the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 patients had been proven effective, when used with zinc. Earlier this month, the White House blocked Redfield from testifying in the House, with a senior administration official telling reporters on condition of anonymity: "We need our doctors focused on the pandemic response". Public health experts, including Fauci himself, publicly warned Trump against making such claims without evidence to support them.

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