India’s capacity to be crucial when effective vaccine is ready: Anthony Fauci

Clay Curtis
August 1, 2020

It's been six months since the first American died from the coronavirus.

The bitter politics surrounding the US response to the coronavirus was evident at the hearing by the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis.

Trump tweeted as a House oversight committee heard from the nation's top health officials on the federal response to coronavirus.

Fauci, who heads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in a functional sense, about 50 percent of America closed down during the weeks-long, near-nationwide lockdowns that started in many areas in March.

Here are some of the highlights from the hearing. "I don't think that we'll have everybody getting it immediately in the beginning". It probably will be phased in.

Trials are pivotal for establishing the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines.

While it typically takes years to develop vaccines, new technologies, the lack of bureaucratic red tape, and the human body's robust immune response to COVID-19 have hastened the process, Dr. Anthony Fauci said.

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"Some were followed very carefully and some were not", he said.

When Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) asked why Europe has managed to control the virus, and the USA hasn't, Dr. Fauci said it's because when the European Union shut down, about 95% of the region actually shuttered its doors.

"When you actually look at what we did, even though we shut down and even though it created a great deal of difficulty, we really functionally shut down only about 50% in the sense of the totality of the country, which means when we reached our peak, as they did they came down nearly to a low baseline", Dr. Fauci explained.

"You make all kinds of recommendations", Jordan said, taking aim at Fauci. "You're putting words in my mouth". "I'm not going to opine on limiting anything". "I'm telling you what it is - the danger - and you can make your own conclusion about that".

Rapid, widespread testing is critical to containing the coronavirus outbreak, but the US effort has been plagued by supply shortages and backlogs since the earliest days of the outbreak. Problems with the availability and timeliness of testing continue to be reported.

As a result, the United States' baseline of transmission was higher than Europe. Giroir responded that he "was not comfortable supporting that comment" and questioned whether those communities did, in fact, have diminished access to resources. This month, the New York Times sued the CDC to have race and ethnicity data linked to COVID-19 deaths made available. "We're seeing far greater deaths from drug overdose that are above excess that we had as background than we are seeing the deaths from COVID", he said. But he's avoided open confrontations with the White House. Public health experts, including Fauci himself, publicly warned Trump against making such claims without evidence to support them.

"It doesn't matter. You can peer review something that's a bad study", he said.

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