Dr. Anthony Fauci is facing the House GOP majority for the first time in a marathon two-day session behind closed doors to discuss the U.S. government’s handling of COVID-19.
Fauci, the former longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, will be interviewed by the House Oversight Committee’s select subcommittee on the coronavirus pandemic.
It’s taking place across two days on Jan. 8 and 9, with each day set to last seven hours without accounting for breaks, the committee announced on Thursday.
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Fauci also agreed to testify in a public hearing at a later date, the committee said.
The immunologist was the most public-facing federal health official during the COVID-19 pandemic, under both the Trump and Biden administrations. President Biden ended up elevating Fauci to his top medical adviser, a position he left when he left his other role at the end of 2022.
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He ended up taking a large share of blame for the negative impact of public health measures at the time, with his endorsement of lockdowns and school closures since being blamed for significant learning loss among students across the U.S.
Chairman Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, said Fauci’s testimony was critical to his panel’s investigation of the “origin of COVID-19, coercive mandates, gain-of-function type research, scientific censorship, and more.”
“It is time for Dr. Fauci to confront the facts and address the numerous controversies that have arisen during and after the pandemic,” Wenstrup said in a statement. “Americans deserve trusted public health leaders who prioritize the well-being of our people over any personal or political goals.”
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“Thankfully, retirement from public service does not shield one from congressional oversight nor accountability to the American people. During Dr. Fauci’s upcoming testimonies, honesty is non-negotiable,” he added.
Wenstrup and Oversight Committee Chair James Comer, R-Ky., began probing Fauci and the Biden administration in February, sending letters to Fauci and Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines seeking information related to the theory that COVID-19 originated in a lab in Wuhan, China.