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President Donald Trump confirmed Tuesday that Dr. Anthony Fauci will be testifying before the Senate this month but will not appear in front of the Democrat-led House of Representatives.
“The House is a setup. The House is a bunch of Trump haters. They put every Trump hater on the committee. The same old stuff,” Trump told reporters outside the White House.
“They, frankly, want our situation to be unsuccessful, which means death. Which means death. And our situation’s going to be very successful.”
He added that Fauci, the director of the Nationals Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, will testify before the Senate, “and he looks forward to doing that.”
The president went on to say that Democrats in the House “should be ashamed of themselves.”
“They want us to fail so they can win an election, which they’re not going to win,” he said.
Trump’s comments about the House confirmed reports that the White House had blocked Fauci from appearing before the House Appropriations Committee as part of its investigation into the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Democratic Reps. Nita Lowey of New York, the chairwoman of the committee, and Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut condemned the White House’s decision to allow Fauci to testify before the Senate and not the House panel in a Saturday news release.
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“The White House’s decision to allow Dr. Fauci to testify in the Republican-controlled Senate but not before the House Appropriations Committee is letting politics overtake public health. There is no distinction between our two co-equal legislative bodies,” they said in a statement.
“The COVID-19 pandemic should not and cannot become a partisan issue — there are too many lives at risk,” the lawmakers said. “We are all Americans first. But the White House’s partisan politics are clearly at play in this decision during our nation’s most challenging public health and economic crisis, and that is both alarming and offensive to the work the American people have elected us to do.”
White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere said that allowing Fauci to appear before the committee would be “counter-productive.”
“While the Trump Administration continues its whole-of-government response to COVID-19, including safely opening up America again and expediting vaccine development, it is counter-productive to have the very individuals involved in those efforts appearing at Congressional hearings,” Deere said in a statement last week, according to The Hill.
“We are committed to working with Congress to offer testimony at the appropriate time,” he said.
Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway said Democratic lawmakers should not conduct their “usual fishing expedition” if they hear testimony from Fauci.
“I just hope that the people who are asking the questions are asking intelligent, rational questions that are actually relevant to the American health because we’ve seen what they do before,” Conway told Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” Tuesday.
“For example, they say stupid things like, ‘This is a job interview — this is a job interview for a lifetime appointment’ about Brett Kavanaugh. ‘Let’s believe all women’ — or at least those three women, most of whom then retracted or didn’t have corroborating evidence,” she said.
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