Legal experts led the criticism of President Donald Trump’s White House on Friday after it confirmed it would not allow Dr. Anthony Fauci to testify before a House panel on the United States’ handling of the coronavirus pandemic next week.
White House spokesman Judd Deere claimed in a statement that the appearance of the infectious disease expert, who is a prominent member of Trump’s coronavirus task force, on Wednesday, May 6, would be “counterproductive.”
Instead, Fauci is expected to testify at a Senate Health Committee hearing the following week, on May 12, reported NBC News. The House is controlled by the Democrats, while the Senate has a Republican majority.
Harvard constitutional law professor Laurence Tribe described the move as “outrageous.”
This is outrageous https://t.co/lsAiJmYEZE
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) May 1, 2020
Maya Wiley, who served as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s chief counsel, called it “unconstitutional.”
An unconstitutional #obstruction of Congress during an emergency. Thank Senators who voted to give #Trump a pass on #impeachment for…say it with me….””: “White House blocking Fauci from testifying before Congress about coronavirus response” https://t.co/2zogjtkpwK
— Maya Wiley (@mayawiley) May 1, 2020
Former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner called it “a pathetic, transparent attempt to keep a lid on Trump’s incompetence” and widely criticized handling of the pandemic, which has now killed more than 64,000 people nationwide.
I am so sick of this administration’s crimes, callousness and cover-ups. What kind of sham, non-existent privilege has Trump asserted to stop Dr. Fauci from testifying? Wait, don’t tell me, it’s a variation on doctor-patient privilege . . . https://t.co/OmcNfb8WT4
— Glenn Kirschner (@glennkirschner2) May 1, 2020
Dr. Fauci has been doing many TV appearances (which we appreciate – accurate, unfiltered information from a respected medical professional). But Trump says Fauci can’t testify before Congress? This is a pathetic, transparent attempt to keep a lid on Trump’s incompetence. https://t.co/WbtuTAIbo1
— Glenn Kirschner (@glennkirschner2) May 1, 2020
Conservative commentator Bill Kristol, veteran journalist Dan Rather and activist and actor Alyssa Milano also chimed in with criticism:
So the White House is taking responsibility for Fauci not testifying. It seems as if Fauci was willing to testify, and that neither he nor Azar wanted to say no publicly, forcing the White House to do so. Gotta think relations between WH and HHS/Fauci are near a breaking point. https://t.co/1lqdUb9toU
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) May 1, 2020
So the White House is blocking Fauci from testifying in front of the House? Calling it “counterproductive” since he’s busy working on the pandemic? The jokes write themselves, but there’s nothing funny about this.
— Dan Rather (@DanRather) May 2, 2020
The obvious thing for Fauci to do is resign and then testify. Or testify anyway and see if trump dares to fire him. https://t.co/GK004FU2hK
— Howard Dean (@GovHowardDean) May 1, 2020
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Interesting that Trump thinks it’s “counterproductive,” for Fauci to testify in the Dem lead House committee but he’s okay with Fauci testifying in the GOP lead Senate committee. The GOP is playing politics with our health, safety and welfare. And it’s not ok. https://t.co/OsoQ0rc63w
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) May 2, 2020
Outrageous. We’ve lost more people to this than in Vietnam & this President won’t allow a top official to testify before Congress so we can coordinate an integrated, whole-government response to save lives. I’m disgusted by this game show host President.https://t.co/VPPaGEttqi
— Congressman Tim Ryan (@RepTimRyan) May 2, 2020
What the fuck, man.
Why isn’t Dr. Fauci allowed to come back and testify?
More coverups by the Trump administration. https://t.co/LbHnhYBz9z
— Holly Figueroa O’Reilly (@AynRandPaulRyan) March 11, 2020
Totally makes sense to not let the top guy testify. Definitely we should trust this clearly not deceptive and horrible move by the White House.
CNBC: White House blocks Fauci from testifying at House coronavirus hearing.https://t.co/2J2wUtxQEp
— Erik Kain (@erikkain) May 2, 2020
You want to live in a country where the White House blocks its top epidemiologist, Dr. Fauci, from testifying to Congress during a pandemic. The guy who’s advised six presidents on domestic and global health issues? Really? ‘Spain me, magas.
— Randi Mayem Singer (@rmayemsinger) May 1, 2020
— Frank Figliuzzi (@FrankFigliuzzi1) May 1, 2020
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