Senior U.S. Health Officials To Testify Before House Committee; White House Officials Considering Steps To Position CDC As Coronavirus Scapegoat, POLITICO Reports

AP: Fauci to testify at a fraught time for U.S. pandemic response
“With coronavirus cases rising in about half the states and political polarization competing for attention with public health recommendations, Dr. Anthony Fauci returns to Capitol Hill on Tuesday at a fraught moment in the nation’s pandemic response. The government’s top infectious disease expert will testify before a House committee, along with the heads of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, and a top official at the Department of Health and Human Services…” (Neergaard/Alonso-Zaldivar, 6/23).

POLITICO: Trump team weighs a CDC scrubbing to deflect mounting criticism
“White House officials are putting a target on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, positioning the agency as a coronavirus scapegoat as cases surge in many states and the U.S. falls behind other nations that are taming the pandemic. Trump administration aides in recent weeks have seriously discussed launching an in-depth evaluation of the agency to chart what they view as its missteps in responding to the pandemic including an early failure to deploy working test kits, according to four senior administration officials. … Aides have also discussed narrowing the mission of the agency or trying to embed more political appointees within it, according to interviews with 10 current and former senior administration officials and Republicans close to the White House. … Politically, Trump aides have also been looking for a person or entity outside of China to blame for the coronavirus response and have grown furious with the CDC, its public health guidance and its actions on testing, making it a prime target. … The moves are among the White House’s efforts to deflect attacks on President Donald Trump and place them elsewhere in the federal bureaucracy…” (Cook/Cancryn, 6/23).

ABC News: 3 questions to watch for as Fauci, Redfield testify before House panel (Flaherty, 6/23).

The Hill: WHO: More testing doesn’t explain COVID-19 spikes in U.S. (Wilson, 6/22).

The Hill: UPDATE: Trump denies he slowed down coronavirus testing (Hellmann/Samuels, 6/22).

MedPage Today: Racism Drives Inequities in COVID-19, House Panel Told (Firth, 6/22).

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