Dr. Fauci went to Capitol Hill on Friday and gave the nation an unvarnished report on the state of the COVID-19 pandemic. As usual, Democrats were interested in the truth and focused their questions on getting an understanding from the nation’s top COVID-19 scientist, as to why the situation is so bad in our country and how we can plan and prepare better for the future. As was expected, Republicans were interested in taking cheap shots against their new arch-enemy Dr. Fauci, defending trump and plugging hydroxychloroquine.
CDC head Redfield and HSS “testing czar” Admiral Brett Giroir also testified. Redfield was focused on opening schools while Giroir was on the defense about the lack of timely testing.
It was a long day of testimony, at times contentious when republicans got their turn. But Dr. Fauci kept his cool and outsmarted the generally dumb republican members of the committee.
Dr. Fauci was cautiously optimistic that a vaccine would be approved by year-end and be available in 1Q 2021. Initially, critical personnel and vulnerable groups would get the vaccine; the general population would get vaccinated by the end of 2021.
Protests and Gym Jordan
Jordan flew off the handle right off the bat, wanting Dr. Fauci to say that BLM protests should be banned for COVID-19 reasons. Take a look at the video below —
Rep. @Jim_Jordan asks if protests should be limited.
Dr. Anthony Fauci: "I'm not going to opine on limiting anything. I'm telling you what it is the danger is. You can make your own conclusion about that. You should stay away from crowds no matter where the crowds are." pic.twitter.com/DfgmahK35F
— CSPAN (@cspan) July 31, 2020
Jordan argued why church services and gyms were discouraged even as Black Lives Matter protests — which are outdoors, typically involve mass mask-wearing, and have not been shown to significantly spread COVID — continued across the country.
“Well, I’m not going to opine on limiting anything. I’m telling you what the danger is,” Fauci said to Jordan. “You can make your own conclusion about that. You should stay away from crowds no matter where the crowds are.”
But Jordan kept badgering Dr. Fauci, who maintained his calm and professional demeanor, making Jordan more frustrated and agitated.
Jordan: So the protests don’t increase the spread of the virus?
Dr. Fauci: I didn’t say that, you’re putting words in my mouth.
Jordan: I just want an answer to the question, do the protests increase the spread of the virus?
Dr Fauci: I can tell you that crowds are known, particularly when you don’t have a mask, to increase the acquisition and transmission, no matter what the crowd is.
The testy exchange ended with this smile and dismissive hand gesture by Dr. Fauci which must still be stinging Jordan –
Oooh, Dr. Fauci waving off Jim Jordan at the end of Jordan’s questioning is going to be a GIF! 👏👏👏 pic.twitter.com/dWIQucaeQH
— 🌼 Pia 🌼 (@Pia_Lemonade) July 31, 2020
In the last minute of the video, you can see Rep. Clyburn remind the Republican congressman that Pres. Trump held a crowded and largely mask-free event at a Texas oil rig this week.
Rep. Luetkemeyer (R-MO) tried to argue for HCQ, the zombie drug, but Fauci was having none of it. Fauci said the particular study he cited was not controlled and was riddled with “confounding issues” — for example, coronavirus patients who received HCQ were simultaneously treated with steroids, which has been shown to improve outcomes for severely ill patients.
“That study is a flawed study,” Fauci said. Randomized, placebo-controlled trials remain the gold standard for how to evaluate whether drugs are safe and effective to use, he said, and this study, although it had been peer-reviewed, did not meet that mark.
“I just have to go with the data,” he said. “I don’t have any horse in the game, one way or the other.”
Rep. Leutkemeyer going at Fauci over hydroxychloroquine is like me going trying to take Lebron to the hoop. https://t.co/yEMi6r0Mwc
— Carl T. Bergstrom (@CT_Bergstrom) July 31, 2020
The Plain truth
Rep. Jeremy Raskin (D-MD) in his questioning covered a lot of ground about the myths and truths about COVID-19. Watch this 2-minute segment –
— Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis (@COVIDOversight) July 31, 2020
- Do children get infected? Yes, they do.
- Is Covid-19 going to magically disappear? No.
- Does wearing a mask give people Covid-19? No
- Is Covid-19 a hoax? No
- Should people take hydroxychloroquine as a cure for Covid-19? No
- Can people cure themselves of Covid-19 by injecting themselves with disinfectant or bleach? No
- Do we have the financial resources and the scientific expertise in America to do what other governments have done to bring the infection rate down to something manageable so the end is in sight of this nightmare? Yes
Here is a longer version of the exchange –
In today’s extraordinary @COVIDOversight hearing with Dr. Fauci on why America still has no plan to defeat the disease, I devoted my first round of Q&A time to debunking Trump’s disinformation and GOP propaganda about COVID-19. Watch: pic.twitter.com/KvjMSmZBXe
— Rep. Jamie Raskin (@RepRaskin) July 31, 2020
trump makes an ass of himself
Committee chair Rep. Clyburn pointed out that the trump administration has no national strategy to fight the spread of COVID-19. He then asked Dr. Fauci to explain why the U.S. is performing so poorly relative to other countries.
Rep. Clyburn pushed Dr. Fauci to explain why Europe was able to contain the virus and the U.S. was not. His answer: We didn’t lock down enough and opened up too soon pic.twitter.com/TuSzaPgmcX
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) July 31, 2020
During the hearing, Clyburn displayed a chart showing rising cases in the U.S. juxtaposed with lower levels across Europe. trump was obviously watching this on TV since he tweeted his age-old canard about testing — “Somebody please tell Congressman Clyburn, who doesn’t have a clue, that the chart he put up indicating more CASES for the U.S. than Europe, is because we do MUCH MORE testing than any other country in the World.”
Clyburn turned to Fauci for a real-time fact check. “Now Dr. Fauci, do you agree with the president’s statement, or do you stand by your previous answer that the difference is caused by multiple factors including the fact that some states did not do a good job of reopening?”
Fauci answered diplomatically — “I stand by my previous statement that the increase in cases was due to a number of factors. In the attempt to reopen, that in some situations, states did not abide strictly by the guidelines that the task force and the White House had put out.”
trump subsequently tweeted vacuously — “Great job by Jim Jordan, and also some very good statements by Tony Fauci. Big progress being made!”
In Other Dr. Fauci News —
An Emmy nomination for Brad Pitt for playing Dr. Fauci on SNL😄
Brad Pitt has scored an Emmy nomination in the outstanding guest actor in a comedy series category for playing Dr. Anthony Fauci on "Saturday Night Live," a role that came to fruition after Fauci made a public casting suggestion. https://t.co/B2I3mAiq8o
— CNN (@CNN) August 1, 2020
Dr. Fauci makes baseball history …
A Topps baseball card with a masked Dr. Anthony Fauci mid-pitch just became the bestselling card in the history of ToppsNow, the company's collection of limited-edition cards https://t.co/i2S5plnaOp
— CNN (@CNN) August 1, 2020
… and gets selected for a human rights award –
HUMAN RIGHTS AWARD TO FAUCI AND KAEPERNICK
Former NFL star Colin Kaepernick and Anthony Fauci, the country’s leading infectious disease expert, are slated to be among this year’s recipients of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Award. #herohttps://t.co/cAjNWYHG1l
— Bombshell DAILY 💣 (@BombshellDAILY) August 1, 2020
As for trump, nobody likes him.
Let’s help keep it that way so that trump is booted out unceremoniously from the White House this November.