Jordan grills Fauci on protests spreading coronavirus

08/02/2020 03:00 | NaN

The bitter politics surrounding the US response to the coronavirus was evident at the hearing by the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis.

"One can never guarantee the safety or effectiveness unless you do the trial, but we are cautiously optimistic this will be successful".

Perhaps ironically, during this same hearing where Scalise lamented the politicizing of a health care crisis, his Republican colleague Jim Jordan repeatedly tried to make U.S. chief immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci voice his opinion on whether the government should limit or ban Black Lives Matter protests over coronavirus concerns as it did with businesses and large gatherings.

"Crowding together, particularly when you're not wearing a mask, contributes to spreading the virus", Fauci said when asked about protests spreading COVID-19. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, after the two clashed at a congressional hearing Friday over preventing the spread of COVID-19. He explained that the USA lockdown wasn't as restrictive and that the country reopened too quickly.

As of Friday morning, the USA reported more than 4.49 million COVID-19 cases, with 152,082 deaths, according to the latest tally from Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Fauci also noted that some states followed the suggested guidelines to reopen, while others didn't. While the process of developing a vaccine has been among the fastest on record, Fauci assured people that the "prudent but rapid" process remained safe while undergoing clinical trials.

"I haven't seen people during a church service go out and harm police officers or burn buildings, but we know that for 63 days, nine weeks, it's been happening in Portland", Jordan said of nationwide protests. "You've made comments on dating, on baseball, on everything you can imagine". "I'm not in a position to determine what the government can do in a forceful way", he said.

"I'm not favoring anybody over anybody", Fauci replied. Once that happens, though, he doesn't think "everybody will be able to get it all at once". "I'm not going to opine on limiting anything ..."

On coronavirus testing, CNN White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins said, "Trump criticized congressman Jim Clyburn after he showed a graph during today's hearing and asked top experts to explain why the USA has not been able to get a grip on the virus in the way that Europe has". "I'm telling you what it is - the danger - and you can make your own conclusion about that". That includes the need to wear masks, avoid crowds and practice good hand hygiene, he said.

Fauci, who made headlines in March by describing USA testing efforts as a failing, also resisted efforts by Democrats to criticize the Trump administration response to the virus, frequently handing off questions about the current state of testing and other matters to his fellow panellists.

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