UPDATED 11:55 AM PT — Saturday, May 2, 2020
Dr. Anthony Fauci is set to speak in front of the Senate next week. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) released a statement on Saturday confirming this news.
The senator added he’s looking forward to hearing from Fauci and other administration officials for a Senate Health Committee hearing on Tuesday. The meeting will take place in front of the chamber’s Health Education, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee.
However, this came one day after the White House shot down a different speaking opportunity for Fauci in front of the House. According to Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere, it would be “counterproductive” for Dr. Fauci to appear before the lower chamber.
“While the Trump administration continues its whole of government response to COVID-19, including safely opening up America again and expediting vaccine development, it’s not worthwhile to have the very individuals involved in those efforts appearing at congressional hearings,” stated Deere.
This came in response to House Appropriations Subcommittee hearing next week, which will focus on the administration’s response to the coronavirus.
Deere argued the White House is not muzzling or blocking Fauci, but rather trying to ensure lawmakers able balance the need for oversight with their responsibility to handle COVID-19 work. Moving forward, he added the administration is “committed to working with Congress to offer testimony, just only at appropriate times.”