Live Global Coronavirus News: Anthony Fauci to Testify

Live Global Coronavirus News: Anthony Fauci to Testify


U.S. health officials are to warn lawmakers of the potential for a ‘tremendous burden’ on hospitals.

Four of the top health officials leading the Trump administration’s virus response will testify before a key House committee on Tuesday about efforts to test for, trace and treat the coronavirus, the first time they will appear together in more than a month to brief Congress on the pandemic.

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, and Dr. Robert R. Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will speak and field questions in front of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. They are likely to be asked about whether they agree with President Trump, who last week claimed in an interview with Fox News that the virus would simply “fade away.”

The doctors will also probably be grilled on the federal government’s progress in developing a vaccine and about the administration’s handling of sharp upticks of the virus around the country. Mr. Trump said at a campaign rally on Saturday in Tulsa, Okla., that he had asked “my people” to “slow the testing down” because increased screening was revealing more infections, making the country look bad.

In a prepared statement provided to the committee ahead of the hearing, the C.D.C. wrote that “Covid-19 activity will likely continue for some time,” potentially careening into flu season and straining hospitals already nearing capacity.

“This could place a tremendous burden on the health care system related to bed occupancy, laboratory testing needs, personal protective equipment and health care worker safety,” the agency wrote.

The New York Times will provide live video of the hearing, which is to begin at 11 a.m. Eastern. Adm. Brett P. Giroir, once the administration’s testing “czar,” and Dr. Stephen M. Hahn, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, are also scheduled to appear.

Dr. Fauci, Dr. Redfield and Admiral Giroir have implored states to test widely for the virus, which allows local health departments and contact tracers to identify new cases quickly and work to stem outbreaks in badly affected areas. In some states with recent significant rises in cases, residents have reported bottlenecks at screening sites, and hospital systems have said that they do not have enough machines to run tests.

The hearing comes as the United States accounted for 20 percent of all the new infections worldwide on Sunday, according to New York Times data.

In one sign of the Trump administration’s eagerness to move on, Admiral Giroir quietly told his colleagues this month that he was returning to his old job as assistant secretary of health to focus on a wide range of public health matters, including childhood vaccination, the opioid epidemic and AIDS.

All four witnesses are part of the coronavirus task force, a dwindling panel of health officials that meets twice a week in the White House Situation Room, one of the few remaining visible elements of the administration’s coronavirus response efforts.

The debate is set to become the second major presidential campaign event to move to Florida after officials elsewhere raised concerns about large gatherings during the pandemic.

After officials in North Carolina, including Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, sought assurances that delegates would adhere to social distancing at the Republican National Convention in Charlotte, the Trump campaign announced that Mr. Trump would instead accept the G.O.P. nomination in Jacksonville, Fla.

In other news from around the United States:

Global roundup

A German district tightens its lockdown after an outbreak at a slaughterhouse.

Speaking to reporters, Mr. Laschet characterized the lockdown as a precautionary move and promised to ease the measures as soon as the authorities were sure that the illness would not spread significantly from the plant.

The outbreak has caused Germany’s reproduction number to rise significantly, to a value of 2.9 on Sunday. That means that one person with the disease is expected to infect, on average, 2.9 others. The number had been below one just a few days before.

Since then, the number of daily new infections has fallen. On Monday, the national health authority registered 503 cases across the country.

In other news from around the world:

Sweden’s lax approach to the outbreak alarms its neighbors.

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