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What Fauci, other health officials plan to say at coronavirus hearing

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testifies about Coronavirus, COVID-19, during a Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, March 3, 2020.

Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images

Dr. Anthony Fauci and other key Trump administration health officials will testify before a House committee Tuesday on the United States’ response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is expected to join Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield, Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn and Brett Giroir, assistant secretary of Health and Human Services, before the House Energy and Commerce Committee for a hearing at 11 a.m. ET.

The coronavirus, which has sickened more than 2.4 million Americans, continues to rapidly spread throughout the United States. As of Monday, the U.S. seven-day average of new Covid-19 cases increased more than 30% compared with a week ago, according to a CNBC analysis of Johns Hopkins University data. Cases are growing by 5% or more in 26 states across the U.S., including Arizona, Texas, Florida and Oklahoma. Coronavirus hospitalizations are on the rise as well.

As cases and hospitalizations are rising, public health experts criticize the lack of a coordinated and strategic response from the Trump administration.

The White House insists the pandemic is “still a priority” for the administration, even as President Donald Trump downplays the threat of the virus. Trump wrote in a tweet earlier Tuesday that “with smaller testing we would show fewer cases,” reiterating his claims that more testing was the reason the U.S. has the most cases in the world.

While testing has increased in the U.S., public health experts and infectious disease specialists say that numbers are also increasing because some states failed to eliminate their initial coronavirus outbreaks while new outbreaks are developing at the same time. 

The hearing Tuesday is likely to discuss testing as well as other government response efforts such as vaccines, treatments and contact tracing. 

Read the prepared testimony below:

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