Fauci to tell House panel ‘unclear’ how long pandemic lasts


Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, attends a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on efforts to get back to work and school during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Washington, D.C., U.S. June 30, 2020. Al Drago/Pool via REUTERS

WASHINGTON (News Nation) — Dr. Anthony Fauci and other top government health experts will speak before Congress on Friday.

“While it remains unclear how long the pandemic will last, COVID-19 activity will likely continue for some time,” Fauci, along with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention head Dr. Robert Redfield and Health and Human Services testing czar Adm. Brett Giroir said in prepared testimony for a special House panel investigating the pandemic.

📃 Read the full prepared remarks lower in this story.

Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, is calling on lawmakers — and all other Americans — to go back to public health basics such as social distancing and wearing masks.

The panel, the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, is divided about how to reopen schools and businesses, mirroring divisions among Americans.

“COVID-19 is the most significant public health challenge to face our nation in more than a century.”

Dr. ANTHONY Fauci, Dr. Robert Redfield and Adm. Brett Giroir wrote in joint PREPARED testimony

The race for a vaccine, though progressing quickly, has yet to deliver a breakthrough.

Fauci’s public message in recent days has been that Americans need to double down on basic measures such as wearing masks in public, keeping their distance from others and avoiding crowds and indoor spaces such as bars. That’s echoed by Redfield and Giroir.

Public health experts say masks help prevent an infected person who has yet to develop symptoms from passing the virus to others. For mask wearers, there’s also some evidence that they can offer a degree of protection from an infected person nearby.

Nearly 4.5 million Americans have been been infected since the start of the pandemic, and more than 150,000 have died, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

The hearing is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. (ET).

Full prepared remarks

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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