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Fauci to testify before Congress on COVID-19 outbreak in US

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Dr. Anthony Fauci (L), director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. (Photo by AFP)

The United States' top infectious diseases expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, will testify before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on May 12.

“Chairman Alexander looks forward to hearing from Dr. Fauci and other administration officials at the Senate health committee’s second hearing back,” an aide to Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander said on Saturday.

Earlier reports said that the White House had blocked an appearance by Fauci at a House Appropriations Committee hearing next week.

However, White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement that the administration was committed to working with Congress to offer testimony at the appropriate time.

The statement came after a spokesman for the House of Representatives committee holding the hearing said the panel had been informed by Trump administration officials that Fauci had been blocked from testifying.

Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has been one of the leading medical experts helping to guide the US response to the highly contagious novel coronavirus that has swept across the world.

At the upcoming hearing, media expect Fauci, 79, who is a well-respected scientist and physician who has worked for decades on the forefront of fighting infectious diseases, to maintain his integrity and speak the truth about Trump's disaster response to the pandemic. 

The Republican former TV star Trump, who likes the media to show him as the best president ever, has repeatedly clashed with the Democratic-controlled House over its lawful right to check on Trump's decisions and actions in government.

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer have called for a probe into Trump’s faulted reasoning resulting in a late response to the coronavirus outbreak which has left tens of thousands of Americans dead and damaged the economy.

Democrats have criticized Trump for his disaster response, saying despite early warnings by Fauci and other experts, the president failed Americans during the fatal COVID-19 respiratory disease pandemic.

As of Friday, at least 63,260 Americans had died due to the coronavirus outbreak as the tally continues to mount, with more than 3.32 million cases confirmed globally.

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