Chris Kleponis/CNP via ZUMA
For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones’ newsletters.The White House won’t let Anthony Fauci testify before Congress next week:
The White House is blocking Anthony S. Fauci from testifying before a House subcommittee investigating the coronavirus outbreak and response, arguing that it would be “counterproductive” for him to appear next week while in the midst of participating in the government’s response to the pandemic….“It’s not muzzling, it’s not blocking, it’s simply trying to ensure we’re able to balance the need for oversight, the legitimate need for oversight, with their responsibilities to handle covid-19 work at their respective agencies and departments,” said the [White House] official, who noted that health risks entailed in moving around in public places were also a factor.
The White House has no problem routinely sucking up two or three hours of Fauci’s day so that he can be a mannequin while Donald Trump provides bad information to the public and gets into fights with the press. But testimony before Congress? Why, that might eat into his busy schedule!
Fauci is an old hand who can handle himself just fine, but still, there’s really only one big difference between the podium of the White House press room and a Capitol Hill hearing room: in the latter, you’re testifying under oath. At the risk of getting a little too far over my skis here, I wonder if that’s what’s really on their mind in the West Wing?