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Fauci to tell House panel it is ‘unclear’ how long coronavirus pandemic will last

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Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, on Friday is expected to tell a House panel on the coronavirus pandemic that it is “unclear” how long the crisis will last. 

Fauci, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield and Health and Human Services testing czar Adm. Brett Giroir are scheduled to testify before the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus on Friday morning. 

“While it remains unclear how long the pandemic will last, COVID-19 activity will likely continue for some time,” the group will say in their opening statement, according to a copy obtained by The Associated Press.

Their testimony comes as the country experiences a large surge in coronavirus cases. Fauci is expected to urge lawmakers to embrace social distancing and mask-wearing, a public health guidance that has become a partisan issue across the country. 

The panel is divided on a number of issues stemming from the pandemic’s grip on the nation, including the reopening of schools.

Fauci’s tone on mask-wearing has fluctuated in recent months, going from recommending states pass mask mandates to saying he is “not totally against” them but is concerned about enforcement.

“Hopefully you get the cooperation of the citizens in your community, to realize why that’s important not only to protect themselves but also to protect those around them,” Fauci said in a Wednesday interview with Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC.

In recent months, President Trump has become frustrated with Fauci, a key member of the White House coronavirus task force.

On Monday he retweeted a message that said Fauci “has misled the American public on many issues, but in particular, on dismissing #hydroxychloroquine and calling Remdesivir the new gold standard.” On Tuesday he questioned why Fauci had a high approval rating “but nobody likes me.”

Tags Anthony Fauci Coronavirus Donald Trump Fauci testimony Hearing house panel select subcommittee

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