Fauci Keeps His Cool Despite Accusations, Believes the Trump Admin Hit the “Accelerator” to Stop the Virus
Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH), Dr. Anthony Fauci, calmly testified before the US Senate on Tuesday, defending any allegations that President Donald Trump might have prevented scientific experts from implementing decisions which could have to stop the outbreak.
During the exchange, Senator Rand Paul claimed that Fauci should not be the “end-all voice” when it comes to making a decision. Fauci agreed, and calmly replied that he should never be “the end-all and only voice.” Rather, Fauci reiterated his role both as a physician and a public health official was only to provide advice based on scientific evidence.
In fact, Fauci admitted that there is still a lot that scientists do not know about the virus. Referring to the argument on whether schools should re-open, Fauci agreed that in general, children respond better than adults, and seniors. However, the NIH director believed that the public must remain cautious, especially since children with COVID-19 infection exhibit strange inflammation symptoms, similar to that of Kawasaki syndrome.
Sen. Richard Burr then turned to ask Fauci, “Has anybody in this administration ever asked you or any member to take the foot off the gas of trying to find a cure or any type of countermeasure?”
Fauci vehemently denied such allegations. Fauci explained that the NIH had been asked to“foot right on that accelerator in every aspect,” which included the development of vaccines and therapeutics.
He continued to explain that their countermeasures began as early as January, even before the virus was known. He added that he had not been instructed by anyone to stop and hold back on the development and countermeasures against the Chinese virus.
Moreover, the NIH director boasted that the organization had been developing a vaccine, and were the first to move to phase one trial. He also gave a strict timeline, claiming that as early as January 11, the day after the virus’ sequence was known, the Vaccine Research Center already developed a plan. Three days later, they began vaccine development. Then, 62 days later, they had already moved to Phase 1 of the clinical trial.
Fauci believed that if all goes well, Phase II-III might begin in late spring and early summer. If they were successful, the NIH director hoped that they could distribute the vaccine by late fall and early winter.
Moreover, Fauci responded to a question from Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) in which he denied accusations from the mainstream media that the relationship between the medical experts and that of the president was both “confrontational and lacking consensus.”