Dr. Anthony Fauci has gained a high profile in recent months due to his role on President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force. On Wednesday, House Democrats announced that they want him to testify.
However, the White House made clear that Fauci won’t be showing up on Capitol Hill any time soon, and that has some lawmakers upset.
House Appropriations Committee goes fishing
Fauci, who serves as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was asked to appear before the House Appropriations Committee.
“The Appropriations Committee sought Dr. Anthony Fauci as a witness at next week’s Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee hearing on COVID-19 response,” NPR quoted committee spokesperson Evan Hollander as saying on Friday.
“We have been informed by an administration official that the White House has blocked Dr. Fauci from testifying,” Hollander complained.
Judd Deere is a spokesman for the White House, and while he didn’t rule out an eventual appearance from Fauci, he insisted that now is not the time.
“While the Trump Administration continues its whole-of-government response to COVID-19, including safely opening up America again and expediting vaccine development, it is counter-productive to have the very individuals involved in those efforts appearing at Congressional hearings,” Deere explained
The Trump administration official went on to add, “We are committed to working with Congress to offer testimony at the appropriate time.”