LIVE: Fauci Testifies Before Congress on COVID-19 Response


Dr. Anthony Fauci, the former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is set to testify before Congress on Monday morning to discuss his role in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Watch the hearing below or click here if you’re on the app.

The hearing before the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic coincides with the nearing conclusion of the subcommittee’s investigation into the virus’s origin and the rationale behind controversial government policies during the pandemic, such as lockdowns, social distancing, and mask and vaccine mandates.

Fauci was pivotal in shaping pandemic policy for both the Trump and Biden administrations and was instrumental in the early research on the virus’s source.

Having led NIAID from 1984 until his departure in 2022, Monday’s hearing marks Fauci’s first public appearance since retiring.

Here are the top three points to watch during the hearing:

Email Scandal and COVID-19 Origins

Fauci is expected to face intensive questioning regarding the actions of his senior adviser, David Morens, who used his personal email for government-related COVID-19 origin business to sidestep Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

Morens had a close relationship with Peter Daszak of EcoHealth Alliance, a subgrant recipient from the National Institutes of Health that conducted bat coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China with federal funds.

Using Gmail, Morens extensively corresponded with Daszak when EcoHealth’s grant was terminated by the Trump administration in 2020, helping in its eventual reinstatement. Morens also provided Daszak with sensitive information regarding FOIA requests for the grant.

The Department of Health and Human Services has initiated debarment proceedings against EcoHealth and Daszak personally, deeming the action “necessary to protect the public interest.”

Subpoenaed emails from Morens to Daszak suggest that Morens may have discussed the grant and sensitive information about COVID-19 origins with Fauci via a Zoom call to evade FOIA scrutiny.

“We are getting FOIA’d non stop,” Morens wrote to Daszak in April 2021. “So it’s most important that Tony not have anything on the record that could come back to bite.”

Social Distancing and Masking Requirements

Mask mandate policies and social distancing measures are expected to polarize subcommittee members along partisan lines.

In a transcribed interview with the subcommittee in January, Fauci indicated that the science regarding mask mandates remains “still up in the air.”

Fauci emphasized in the transcribed interview that he did not “flip-flop” on his masking stance; rather, his position evolved as more was understood about the virus.

During the pandemic’s early stage, Fauci noted there was “not any good evidence that outside of the hospital setting that a mask is effective in preventing the acquisition or transmissibility.”

However, this view evolved over time, and even basic cloth masks provided “some protection” compared to no masks, though they offered less protection than KN95 or N95 masks.

Fauci also mentioned to the subcommittee that there was no precise scientific basis for the 6-foot social distancing guideline during the pandemic’s early stages.

“It just sort of appeared,” Fauci stated in his interview. “I don’t recall, like, a discussion of whether it should be 5 or 6 or whatever.”

Vaccine Efficacy

Fauci’s endorsement of COVID-19 vaccines is expected to be a contentious topic during the hearing.

Several subcommittee members, including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), have criticized mRNA COVID-19 vaccines for their various side effects, including rare instances of myocarditis and blood clots.

In his transcribed interview, Fauci was asked about his May 2021 statement that the vaccine makes the patient “a dead end to the virus” and was essential for preventing community spread.

Fauci defended his previous statements by saying they were accurate when made but became less so over time as the virus mutated.

“Right now, vaccines do not necessarily protect very well at all against infection,” Fauci acknowledged in January. “But the ability to protect you from getting into the hospital is still pretty strong.”

Fauci’s legal counsel declined Truth Voices’ request for a pre-hearing interview.

Gabrielle M. Etzel
Gabrielle M. Etzel
Healthcare Reporter. Previously, Etzel served as a staff reporter at Campus Reform and as a freelance writer. After graduating from Grove City College, she earned her master's in public policy and administration from Baylor University, where she conducted research on domestic sex trafficking. In her free time, Etzel enjoys being with her family in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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