Fauci Warns Reopening Too Soon Will Cause ‘Needless Suffering and Death’ Ahead of Senate Hearing


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Infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci is warning that reopening the country too soon will result in “needless suffering and death” just hours ahead of his testimony before the U.S. Senate.

Fauci is part of a panel of Trump administration officials who will testify before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Tuesday morning at a hearing entitled “COVID-19: Safely Getting Back to Work and Back to School,” and he previewed his testimony in an email to The New York Times’ Sheryl Gay Stolberg.

“The major message that I wish to convey to the Senate HLP committee tomorrow is the danger of trying to open the country prematurely,” Fauci wrote. “If we skip over the checkpoints in the guidelines to: ‘Open America Again’, then we risk the danger of multiple outbreaks throughout the country. This will not only result in needless suffering and death, but would actually set us back on our quest to return to normal.”

Fauci has walked a thin line between telling it like it is and trying not to upset President Donald Trump or panic the American people, but he has been consistent in cautioning against skipping steps in the reopening guidelines that he and the coronavirus task force have set forth.

The Senate hearing, however, will be Fauci’s first appearance under oath in months, and the setting has led to a less-varnished Fauci in the past. If “needless suffering and death” is in his opening statement, there’s no telling what his full testimony will yield.

Fauci will be joined by FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn, HHS assistant secretary Adm. Brett Giroir, and CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield — all of whom will testify before a committee that includes many prominent Trump critics. The hearing begins at 10 a.m.

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