By JOHN PARKINSON, ABC News
(WASHINGTON) — Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, will testify July 31 on Capitol Hill, as his relationship with President Donald Trump faces continued scrutiny and the coronavirus continues to spread across the United States.
Fauci, who last testified before Congress on June 30, will be joined during a hybrid in-person/remote hearing by two other leading officials from the White House Coronavirus Task Force: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield and Assistant Secretary for Health at the Department of Health and Human Services Adm. Brett Giroir.
The hearing comes as the number of new COVID-19 cases continues to increase. On Tuesday, more than 1,000 Americans died from the coronavirus — the highest daily tally in more than a month.
Democrats say they intend to examine the “urgent need for a national comprehensive plan” to address the pandemic, according to a news release sent by the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, which is chaired by House Majority Whip James Clyburn.
While Trump has held solo news conferences on back-to-back days to discuss the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Fauci said that he has not been invited to join the president, as was customary in the early days of the pandemic. The infectious disease expert last met with the president on June 2, although the two did speak over the phone on July 15, and Trump said they spoke again on Wednesday.
With public support for his response to the pandemic sinking, Trump has recently worked to discredit Fauci, insisting he’s “made mistakes” throughout the crisis. Nevertheless, the president insists he gets along fine with Fauci and that he likes him personally.
“They are briefing me. I am meeting them. I just spoke to Dr. Fauci. Dr. (Deborah) Birx is right outside. And they’re giving me all of — everything they know as of — as of this point in time, and I’m giving the information to you. And I think it’s probably a very concise way of doing it. It seems to be working out very well,” Trump said Wednesday evening. “They’re very much involved. They’re very much — with the relationships, they’re all very good. All very good. The relationships that we have with the doctors, with everybody working on the virus has been, I think, extraordinary.”
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