- Dr. Anthony Fauci clashed with Rep. Jim Jordan at a House subcommittee hearing Friday on whether the government should crack down on protests to curb the spread of COVID-19.
- “I am not in a position to determine what the government can do in a powerful way,” Fauci said, adding, “You have to stay away from the crowds, no matter where the crowds are.”
- Jordan repeatedly tried to get Fauci in, saying the government should limit the protests, but Fauci refused, saying it was not his place to consider what the government should or should not do.
- “I do not understand what you are asking me, as a public health official, to think about who should be arrested or not,”; Fauci said. “This is not my position. You can ask me as much as you want, and I will not answer.”
- Scroll down to see an exchange clip.
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Dr. Anthony Fauci and Rep. Ohio’s Jim Jordan got into a hot Friday night during a House subcommittee hearing the novel’s coronavirus.
Jordan, one of the biggest dogs of President Donald Trump’s attack on Capitol Hill, repeatedly asked Fauci to consider whether the widespread protests helped spread COVID-19.
Fauci said that in general, large crowds, especially those including people who do not wear masks, contribute to higher infections and transmission rate.
“Should the government curb protests?” Asked Jordan.
“I do not think it’s important,” Fauci said, adding, “I’m not able to determine what the government can do in a powerful way.”
Jordan crushed Fauci, saying, “You make all kinds of recommendations.”
He said state governments were restricting people attending church services and asked Fauci, “Is there a world where the Constitution says you can favor one freedom of first amendment by protesting, over another, by practicing your faith? ? “
“I’m not favoring anyone over anyone,” Fauci said. “I’m just making a statement that is a broad statement, that avoids crowds of all kinds, no matter where you are, because that leads to buying and broadcasting. And I do not judge one crowd versus another crowd. When you’re again in a crowd, especially if you are not wearing a mask, it causes the spread. “
“I have not seen people during a church service go out and harm police officers or burn buildings, but we know that for 63 days, nine weeks, this is happening in Portland,” Jordan said, telling referring to protests against racism and police brutality in the city since the death of George Floyd on Remembrance Day. Many of the demonstrations escalated into violence as federal law enforcement agents used tear gas, rubber bullets and other materials to disperse protesters.
There is “no limit to the protests,” Jordan said, but “you can not go to church on Sunday.”
“I do not know how many times I can answer this,” Fauci replied. “I will not think of limiting anything.”
Jordan withdrew, telling Fauc that he had “thought many things”.
“You have to stay away from the crowds, no matter where the crowds are,” Fauci said.
“The government has banned people from going to work,” Jordan said, citing reports of two people being arrested after reopening their gym. He added, “Do you see the discrepancy, Dr. Fauci?”
Fauci said there is “no discrepancy”. Jordan replied, “You are allowed to protest – millions of people a day, in the crowd, shouting, shouting – but you try to run your business, you get arrested?”
Fauci, who seemed to be increasingly disappointed, said: “I do not understand what you are asking me, as a public health official, to think about who should be arrested or not. This is not my position. You can ask me as much as you want, and I will not answer. “
Jordan then claimed that Fauci had said the protests increased the spread of the virus, but Fauci withdrew. “I told the crowd,” he said. “I did not say specifically – I did not say protest.”
“So protests do not increase the spread of the virus?” Tha Jordan.
“I did not say that,” Fauci said. “You are putting words in my mouth.”
He added: “I can tell you that crowds are known, especially when you do not have a mask, to increase buying and broadcasting, no matter who the crowd is.”
-Reps. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) July 31, 2020
The number of U.S. coronavirus deaths this week exceeded 151,000, the highest in any country. Asked how other countries managed to bring their COVID-19 outbreaks under control, Fauci said that when the pandemic began, countries in Europe and Asia closed 95% of their economies while the US closed only 50%.
At the hearing, South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn displayed a graph showing the spark in cases in the U.S. compared to cases in Europe, drawing Trump’s fuss.
“Someone please tell Congressman Clyburn, who has no clue, that the graph he set that shows more CASES for the US than in Europe, is because we do a lot more testing than any other country in the world.” , posted on Twitter.
—Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 31, 2020
But numerous public health officials and scientific experts have pointed out that while the US has rapidly expanded its ability to test and track contacts, this alone does not constitute an increase in new cases.
“Those states are finding more cases in terms of the amount of tests they are conducting. They provide stronger opposition to the administration’s assertion that case numbers are increasing because we are getting better at finding cases through increased testing. “Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health at Bloomberg, wrote in The Washington Post last month.
“They tell us the opposite – that each of these states needs to do even more testing to find infections – followed by stricter contact tracking and isolation.”