02:35 GMT16 May 2021
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    Nations Continue to Fight COVID-19 Crisis as Over 2.5 Million People Infected Globally (239)

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The White House has blocked Dr Anthony Fauci, a senior health official on the Coronavirus Task Force, from testifying on the Trump administration's response to the pandemic, House Appropriations Committee spokesperson Evan Hollander said in a statement.

    "The Appropriations Committee sought Dr Anthony Fauci as a witness at next week's Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee hearing on COVID-19 response", Hollander said as quoted by CNN on Friday. "We have been informed by an administration official that the White House has blocked Dr Fauci from testifying".

    In a separate statement, White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere said it would be counterproductive to have Fauci testify before Congress while dealing with the ongoing battle against the pandemic.

    "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. We are committed to working with Congress to offer testimony at the appropriate time", Deere commented.

    Fauci and Trump have contradicted each other at times when giving health advice to the US public amid the pandemic.

    The doctor is also the director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

    The United States, as of Friday evening, has 1,100,197 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and about 64,600 deaths caused by the disease, according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Centre.

    Nations Continue to Fight COVID-19 Crisis as Over 2.5 Million People Infected Globally (239)
    health, virus, Donald Trump, Anthony Fauci, US
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