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Cheney defends Fauci: 'We need his expertise' to defeat coronavirus

Cheney defends Fauci: 'We need his expertise' to defeat coronavirus
© Greg Nash

Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyPressure grows from GOP for Trump to recognize Biden election win Trump: Liz Cheney's election remarks sparked by push to bring US troops home Biden's lead over Trump surpasses 6M votes as more ballots are tallied MORE (Wyo.), the No. 3 Republican in the House, defended White House coronavirus task force member Anthony FauciAnthony FauciPompeo to host indoor holiday parties at State Department despite warning to employees to hold some missions virtually Obama says he may take coronavirus vaccine on TV to build trust in it McEnany hits Democratic leaders for not following their own COVID-19 restrictions MORE on Tuesday and praised him for the job that he's done during the pandemic.

"Dr. Fauci is one of the finest public servants we have ever had. He is not a partisan," the House Republican Conference chairwoman tweeted. "His only interest is saving lives. We need his expertise and his judgment to defeat this virus. All Americans should be thanking him. Every day."

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Fauci, the longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has been in the national spotlight since the onset of the pandemic as a key member of the White House coronavirus task force. His messaging regarding the virus and the government's response to the pandemic has, at times, been at odds with President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal watchdog accuses VOA parent company of wrongdoing under Trump appointee Lawsuit alleges 200K Georgia voters were wrongly purged from registration list Ivanka Trump gives deposition in lawsuit alleging misuse of inauguration funds MORE's remarks.

On Tuesday, Fauci and three other members of the coronavirus task force appeared at a virtual hearing in front of the Senate Health Committee to discuss the country's response to the virus that has killed more than 80,000 people in the U.S.

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulMcConnell in tough position as House eyes earmark return Rand Paul says Fauci owes parents and students an apology over pandemic measures Grassley returns to Capitol after having coronavirus MORE (R-Ky.) pushed back on Fauci during one exchange at the hearing, telling the physician that he respected him but that he didn't think he was the “end all” when it comes to the virus.

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“So I think we ought to have a little bit of humility in our belief that we know what’s best for the economy,” Paul said. “I don’t think you’re the one person that gets to make a decision. We can listen to your advice, but there are people on the other side saying there’s not going to be a surge and that we can safely open the economy and the facts will bear this out.”

Fauci responded to the senator, saying he had “never made myself out to be the end all and only voice in this.”
 
“I'm a scientist, a physician and a public health official. I give advice according to the best scientific evidence,” Fauci said.
 
During the hearing, Fauci also warned against the U.S. reopening its economy too fast.

“There is a real risk that you will trigger an outbreak,” Fauci explained. He added that states that reopen their economies too fast might struggle with containing new outbreaks, only elongating the recovery time.

Many states have begun to reopen parts of their economies in recent weeks, as Trump has turned to focus on getting the country moving again.