Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, and other members of the White House coronavirus task force testified today before a House subcommittee on the Trump administration's coronavirus response.
Fauci, Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Adm. Brett Giroir, the assistant secretary for health at the US Department of Health and Human Services, addressed concerns about testing, the possibility of a Covid-19 vaccine and the reopening of schools.
In case you missed it, here's what happened at today's hearing:
- Vaccine won't be made available immediately: Fauci said a coronavirus vaccine may not be available to all Americans immediately, but in phases. He reassured lawmakers that all safety precautions will be taken by the FDA before the vaccine is made available to the public, encouraging all Americans to take the vaccine.
- Fauci "cautiously optimistic" of vaccine trial: The infectious disease expert said 30,000 individuals have started to enroll in the first Phase 3 clinical trial of a coronavirus vaccine in the United States, which started Monday. Fauci said he is "cautiously optimistic" that the coronavirus vaccine being developed by Moderna and his agency will be successful. Fauci went on to say he doesn't think it’s a dream to say that a coronavirus vaccine could be ready by the end of the year or early 2021.
- Children should return to school if possible: Redfield reiterated his stance that schools should reopen this fall, adding that closing schools can result in "very significant public health consequences." Fauci echoed Redfield's comments saying that a "default position despite the fact that we have to have flexibility" would be to try "as best as we possibly can in the context of the safety of the children and the teachers" to reopen the schools.
- Health experts are focused on four issues: Fauci said the National Institutes of Health's strategic plan is focused on addressing four key points related to Covid-19. They are: the improvement of fundamental knowledge of the virus, the development of diagnostics, the testing of therapeutics and development and testing of vaccines.
- On Herman Cain's passing: Cain, the businessman and former Republican presidential candidate, died yesterday from coronavirus. Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters offered condolences to his family and said, “This virus is not Democrat or Republican." Cain, who was hospitalized earlier this month, was one of the Trump surrogates photographed at the President’s campaign rally on June 20 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Cain was seated closely among other attendees without a face covering.
SEE FAUCI'S OPENING STATEMENT: