FILE – In this June 26, 2020, file photo Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci, center, speaks as Vice President Mike Pence, right, and Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, left, listen during a news conference with members of the Coronavirus task force at the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File) [SUSAN WALSH | AP] WASHINGTON — Dr. Anthony Fauci is fighting back against questioning from a Republican lawmaker over whether recent protests increased the spread of coronavirus.
Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio repeatedly pressed the top health official on whether protests in Portland and other cities against police brutality and racial discrimination should be curbed to stop the virus spread.
Jordan complained that government officials "are stopping people from going to church," but not shutting down protests.
Fauci refused to be drawn into the politically sensitive debate while testifying before House lawmakers on the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Instead, he reiterated, “Any crowd, whether it’s a protest, any crowd when you have people close together without masks is a risk.”
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:WASHINGTON — Dr. Anthony Fauci says 250,000 people have registered on a National Institutes of Heath website to take part in experimental vaccine trials.The study of the first vaccine involving 30,000 people began this week. The U.S. government plans to launch studies of additional vaccines every month through the fall.Trials are pivotal for establishing the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines. Not all patients who volunteer for clinical trials are eligible to participate.Fauci is testifying before House lawmakers on the federal response […]