The White House has blocked Dr. Anthony Fauci from testifying about the response to the coronavirus crisis before the House Appropriations Committee, a spokesman for the committee told NBC News on Friday.
“The Appropriations Committee sought Dr. Anthony Fauci as a witness at next week’s Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee hearing on COVID-19 response. We have been informed by an administration official that the White House has blocked Dr. Fauci from testifying,” the spokesperson, Evan Hollander, said.
He’d been asked to appear on May 6.
Fauci, the head of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has been a key adviser in the Trump administration’s fight against the coronavirus, and until recently, a fixture at the White House coronavirus briefings. He’s also sat for numerous media interviews on the virus, including on sports podcasts.
In a statement, White House spokesman Judd Deere said the May 6 hearing is not an “appropriate” time for Fauci to go before the House.
“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,” Deere said. “We are committed to working with Congress to offer testimony at the appropriate time.”