Dr. Anthony Fauci / Image=Wikipedia
[Newsphopick=Gyubin Lee] Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, told lawmakers Tuesday that the US will be increasing coronavirus testing, saying, "we're going to be doing more testing, not less," in response to President Donald Trump's recent claim that he asked his administration to slow down testing during the pandemic.
The testimony from Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, came during a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the Trump administration's response to the coronavirus pandemic.
"To my knowledge, none of us have ever been told to slow down on testing. That just is a fact. In fact, we will be doing more testing," Fauci said on a witness panel of top officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services.
The spotlight is on testing after the President said in a shocking admission during his Tulsa, Oklahoma, rally on Saturday night that he had told officials in his administration to slow down coronavirus testing because of the rising number of cases in the country.
"When you do testing to that extent, you're going to find more people; you're going to find more cases. So I said to my people, slow the testing down please," Trump said. After the President made the comment, multiple White House officials said that the President was joking. But Trump told a reporter on Monday, "I don't kid, let me just tell you, let me make it clear," when asked again if he was joking in his remarks over the weekend.
That wasn't the only time that Fauci broke with the President during the hearing. Asked if he has concerns about the President's decision to terminate the US relationship with the World Health Organization, Fauci responded, "Yes, I do," adding, "Despite any policy issues that come from higher up in the White House, we at the operational level continue to interact with the WHO in a very meaningful way, literally on a day by day basis."