Dr Anthony Fauci, America’s top infectious disease expert, told lawmakers that the nation is seeing a “disturbing surge” in coronavirus infections in some states.
Fauci was among a panel of health officials who said the next few days will be crucial to halt the new outbreaks, as cases are climbing rapidly across a number of US states.
President Donald Trump told a sparsely attended rally in Oklahoma that he had asked his team to do less testing to keep official case counts down.
The White House has said his comment was “in jest” but the president undermined his own apologists in an appearance outside the White House, telling reporters that he was not kidding about the testing comments.
Fauci and three other top experts testified that they were never told to “slow down” testing by Trump.
“To my knowledge, none of us have ever been told to slow down on testing,” Dr Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testified to a congressional committee investigating the US response to the pandemic. “In fact, we will be doing more testing.”
Fauci was asked by Rep. David McKinley, a Republican from West Virginia, whether he believes President Trump is judged fairly for his response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Fauci initially objected to the premise of the question, calling it “unfair,” because he felt that McKinley was asking him to pass judgement on the press’s treatment of the President.
Fauci said, without directly naming Trump, he believes everyone in the White House is doing everything they can to respond to the pandemic.
Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Covid-19 has “brought this nation to its knees.” The US, he said, will “probably spend close to $7 trillion” because of coronavirus.
The other two officials – representing the the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services – also disputed Trump’s assertion, saying they were never directed to slow down testing.
More than 120,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus, more than any other nation.
Connect with NJTODAY.NET
Join NJTODAY.NET's free Email List to receive occasional updates delivered right to your email address!