05.12.20

ROUND UP: Murray Presses Health Officials on Dangers of Reopening Before Trump Administration Addresses Need for Testing, Supplies, And More

Seattle PI: Dr. Fauci to Washington Sen. Murray: 'Pretty dire' consequences in reopening too early

 

NPR: “Patty Murray, who's the ranking Democrat, noted that what's needed is ‘dramatically more testing,’ and yet, she said, there's no comprehensive plan to ramp it up and make it free.”

 

WSJ: “Sen. Patty Murray (D. Wash.), the panel’s ranking Democrat, pressed the need for more testing, wearing masks and adhering to detailed public-health guidance before job sites and schools can safely reopen.”

 

(Washington, D.C.) –  Today, at a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee hearing, HELP Committee Ranking Member U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), pressed the nation’s health officials for answers about how far the U.S. is from being able to safely reopen, and what the Trump Administration planned to do to address issues like the needs to rapidly expand testing nationwide, provide far more personal protective equipment, and provide detailed guidance for states, tribes, employers, schools, and communities about how to keep people safe while returning to some semblance of normal.

Senator Murray was sharply critical of President Trump’s efforts to avoid the truth and push the country to reopen before addressing these issues. She cited the increasing death toll of the COVID-19 pandemic and the consensus of experts that the U.S. is not ready to safely reopen, and asked Dr. Fauci about the dangers of moving too quickly.

 

Testifying at today’s hearing were several members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force: Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Dr. Robert Redfield, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Admiral Brett Giroir, Assistant Secretary For Health, and Dr. Stephen Hahn, Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration.

 
Coverage of today’s hearing excepted below:


Seattle PI: Dr. Fauci to Washington Sen. Murray: 'Pretty dire' consequences in reopening too early

 

States and municipalities face ‘really serious consequences’ if they reopen too quickly from closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci told a U.S. Senate hearing on Tuesday, responding to a question from ranking Democrat Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington. By disregarding guidelines on when to safely reopen, ‘There is a real risk that you will trigger an outbreak that you may not be able to control,’ Fauci, leading figure in the White House coronavirus task force, told the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee.” 5/12/20

 

NPR: Fauci Warns States Not To 'Jump Over' Guidelines To Reopening

 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, warned Tuesday of states and localities skipping over federal guidelines while trying to lift restrictions and restart their economies amid the coronavirus pandemic. … Like Alexander, Patty Murray, who's the ranking Democrat, noted that what's needed is ‘dramatically more testing,’ and yet, she said, there's no comprehensive plan to ramp it up and make it free. Murray, of Washington state, a state that saw an early outbreak of the coronavirus, didn't mince her words about the Trump administration's response to the pandemic, calling it a ‘disaster all on its own.’ She cited ‘delays’ and ‘missteps’ that allowed ‘inaccurate antibody tests to flood the market,’ longer wait times for personal protective equipment for front-line health care workers and that Trump himself has ‘promoted dangerous, unproven treatments’ and that his White House buried detailed CDC guidance for reopening.” 5/12/20

 

ABC: Fauci testifies reopening too soon could be 'really serious'

 

The government's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, warned senators in a videoconference hearing Tuesday that the "consequences could be really serious" if states and localities reopen too soon. … Murray brought up Fauci’s warning ‘of needless suffering and death’ if the country opens too soon, in her first question, asking the doctor what is his most important message for communities and states that may be reopening too soon. ‘I get concerned if you have a situation where the dynamics of an outbreak in an area are such that you are not seeing that gradual 14-day decrease that would allow you to go to phase one,’ Fauci said, pointing to the White House guidelines on reopening and a ‘gating criteria’ that is not being followed in certain areas.” 5/12/20

 

Reuters: 'There is a real risk' of new outbreak if U.S. states reopen too soon: Fauci

 

Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told a U.S. Senate panel that states should follow health experts’ recommendations to wait for signs including a declining number of new infections before reopening. … Senator Patty Murray, the senior committee Democrat, criticizing aspects of the administration’s response to the pandemic, said Americans ‘need leadership, they need a plan, they need honesty and they need it now, before we reopen.’” 5/12/20

 

Politico: Testing czar predicts U.S. can conduct up to 50M coronavirus tests per month by fall

 

HHS testing czar Brett Giroir predicted Tuesday that the U.S. will be able to test up to 50 million people per month for the coronavirus by September. … Giroir's answers did not satisfy the committee's ranking member, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who slammed the Trump administration’s response to the virus. ‘This administration has had a record of giving us broken promises that more tests and supplies are coming and they don't,’ she said. Giroir skirted questions from Murray about whether the administration would include hard numbers and targets in a strategic testing plan required by the CARES Act stimulus package.” 5/12/20

 

New York Times: At Senate Hearing, Government Experts Paint Bleak Picture of the Pandemic

 

Two of the federal government’s top health officials painted a grim picture of the months ahead on Tuesday, warning a Senate panel that the United States has not contained the coronavirus pandemic a day after President Trump declared that ‘we have met the moment and we have prevailed.’ The officials warned of dire consequences if the nation reopens its economy too soon, noting that the United States still lacks critical testing capacity and the ability to trace the contacts of those infected. … And the mood was at times tense. Mr. Alexander put Democrats on notice not to engage in ‘finger pointing’ and insisted that ‘even the experts underestimated Covid-19,’ referring to the disease caused by the coronavirus. Ms. Murray followed that by calling Mr. Trump’s response ‘a disaster,’ adding: ‘The president isn’t telling the truth. We must, and our witnesses must.’” 5/12/20

 

NBC: Fauci warns 'little spikes' of coronavirus could turn into outbreaks if states reopen too soon

 

Dr. Anthony Fauci on Tuesday warned of serious consequences if governors reopen state economies prematurely, saying he fears spikes in coronavirus infections could morph into further outbreaks of the disease. … ‘My concern, that if some areas, city, states, or what have you, jump over those various checkpoints and prematurely open up without having the capability of being able to respond effectively and efficiently, my concern is that we will start to see little spikes that might turn into outbreaks,’ Fauci said in response to a question from Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash. … Murray, the top Democrat on the committee, said in her opening statement that the U.S. needs ‘dramatically more testing,’ but added that testing ‘alone won’t be enough to reopen our country.’ ‘We still need far more personal protective equipment than has been available for our health care workers on the frontlines, and we will need far more for other workers as we reopen,’ she said.” 5/12/20

 

NBC: Fauci Testifies Outbreak Is ‘Not Under Control’ in US

 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, warned bluntly Tuesday of ‘really serious’ consequences of suffering, death and deeper economic damage if state and local officials lift stay-at-home orders too quickly, even as President Donald Trump pushes them to act to right a free-falling economy. … Sen. Patty Murray, the ranking Democrat, reiterated Alexander's appeal for ‘dramatically more testing’ and called on the Trump administration to submit a specific plan on testing. ‘And when I say a plan, I don't mean a PR plan,’ Murray added. Alexander advised against looking back at the Trump administration’s response, saying all countries underestimated the virus. But Murray called the administration’s  response a disaster and said Trump was more focused on ‘fighting against the truth than fighting this virus.’” 5/12/20

 

Buzzfeed: Dr. Anthony Fauci Said Reopening The Country Early Could Lead To Avoidable "Suffering And Death"

 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top US infectious disease official, warned senators on Tuesday that states ending stay-at-home orders to reopen business widely across the country threatened to restart outbreaks of the deadly novel coronavirus. … Sen. Patty Murray — who represents the state of Washington, where the first US case of the coronavirus was discovered in late January — condemned President Donald Trump’s calls for states to reopen despite his own administration's guidelines. ‘President Trump is trying to ignore the facts, and ignore the experts who have been clear we are nowhere close to where we need to be to reopen safely,’ Murray said at the hearing.” 5/12/20

 

CNN: Fauci tells Congress that states face serious consequences if they reopen too quickly

 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, a key member of the White House's coronavirus task force, warned senators Tuesday that states and cities face serious consequences if they open up too quickly, urging states not to reopen until they know they have the capabilities to handle an inevitable uptick in cases once they relax stay-at-home orders. … ‘The fact of the matter is, President Trump has been more focused on fighting against the truth, than fighting this virus — and Americans have sadly paid the price,’ said Washington Sen. Patty Murray, the top Democrat on the committee. … Murray agreed with Alexander on the need for more testing, but she was much more critical of the Trump administration. ‘We need dramatically more testing. It's unacceptable we still don't have a national strategic plan to make sure testing is free, fast and everywhere,’ she said.” 5/12/20

 

AP: Fauci warns of serious consequences if US reopens too soon

 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, warned on Tuesday that “the consequences could be really serious” if cities and states reopen the U.S. economy too quickly with the coronavirus still spreading. More COVID-19 infections are inevitable as people again start gathering, but how prepared communities are to stamp out those sparks will determine how bad the rebound is, Fauci told the Senate Health, Labor and Pensions Committee. … The senators running the event, Alexander and Democrat Patty Murray of Washington, were heads on video screens, with an array of personal items in the background as they isolated back home.” 5/12/20

 

Business Insider: Dr. Fauci warns in Senate hearing that 'consequences could be really serious' if states reopen without identifying and isolating the virus

 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, warned in a Senate hearing on Tuesday that the country will see potentially devastating resurgences of the coronavirus if states and localities relax social distancing without heeding federal guidelines. … Washington Sen. Patty Murray, the top Democrat on the panel, repeatedly criticized Trump and his administration for, she argued, suppressing the truth about the virus, ignoring experts, and responded slowly to the public health crisis.  ‘The president isn't telling the truth and our witnesses must,’ Murray said at the top of Tuesday's hearing.” 5/12/20

 

Roll Call: Fauci warns against lifting restrictions too fast

 

Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease specialist, told senators at a hearing on Tuesday that if states prematurely lift social and economic restrictions, cases of COVID-19 could spike again. … Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., the panel's ranking member, criticized the administration for not having a national strategic testing plan, but said far more is needed to lift restrictions, such as more protective gear and guidelines for employers. She also called on Congress to work on another relief package, which Senate Republicans have said they don't want to move ahead with right now. ‘We need to work quickly on another aggressive relief package—and we need to make sure our priorities in that bill are protecting workers, students, and families, and addressing this public health crisis, not bailing out corporations and protecting big business from accountability,’ she said.” 5/12/20

 

WSJ: Fauci, Other Top Health Officials Urge More Testing Before Easing Lockdowns

 

Top Trump administration health officials emphasized the need to expand testing and move with caution before easing coronavirus lockdowns, warning in a Senate hearing that serious risks would continue into the fall as schools looked to reopen. ‘If certain areas prematurely open up, my concern is we might see spikes that turn into outbreaks,’ Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told senators on Tuesday. … Sen. Patty Murray (D. Wash.), the panel’s ranking Democrat, pressed the need for more testing, wearing masks and adhering to detailed public-health guidance before job sites and schools can safely reopen.” 5/12/20

 

Fox News: Fauci, in Senate testimony, warns of new coronavirus 'outbreaks' if states jump 'checkpoints' to reopen

 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the face of the White House coronavirus task force, warned in testimony Tuesday before the Senate Health Committee that reopening the economy before certain "checkpoints" set up in the Trump administration's coronavirus recovery plan are met could bring "serious" consequences. … When asked by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., what could happen if areas do ignore the ‘checkpoints,’ Fauci said, ‘The consequences could be really serious.’ Further, when asked by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., if the virus was under control, Fauci said it is not.” 5/12/20

 

USA Today: Fauci says 80,000 US coronavirus deaths is 'unacceptable'

 

Washington state Sen. Patty Murray immediately went after President Donald Trump during a Tuesday hearing about how and when to reopen the economy during the coronavirus pandemic. Murray, the top Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, accused him of lying and calling the administration’s response a disaster that’s been hampered by corruption and political interference. ‘Trump has been more focused on fighting against the truth than fighting the virus,’ Murray said.” 5/12/20

 

Inquistr: Anthony Fauci Says Death Toll Is Likely Higher Than Official Numbers As He Warns Against Reopening

 

Dr. Anthony Fauci appeared remotely before the United States Senate to issue a warning about reopening the economy prematurely and said that the current death toll from the novel coronavirus is ‘almost certainly higher’ than what the official count shows. … Fauci, who is the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was asked by Washington state Senator Patty Murray that while the respected immunologist has repeatedly warned against opening the country too early, President Donald Trump has been conveying a message to the opposite. ‘What we have worked out is a guideline framework for how you safely open America again… I get concerned if you have a situation where you are not seeing gradual, over 14-day, decrease [in new cases of coronavirus],’ he replied." 5/12/20

 

Washington Times: Dr. Anthony Fauci: Fallout of reopening hastily 'could be really serious'

 

“Anthony Fauci, a key member of the White House coronavirus task force, warned Tuesday of unnecessary ‘suffering and death’ if states get sloppy in reopening their economies amid the coronavirus pandemic. … Sen. Patty Murray, Washington Democrat, said the president is guilty of early missteps and ignoring health experts. She said Mr. Trump has been more focused on ‘fighting against the truth than fighting this virus.’ Mrs. Murray said the federal government needs to ‘step up’ and provide supplies and personnel to states trying to reopen. She also called on Congress to provide more stimulus relief. ‘What good is a bridge that only gets you to the middle of the river?’ she said.” 5/12/20

 

Consumer Affairs: Dr. Anthony Fauci warns reopening too soon could cause future COVID-19 outbreaks

 

As some states begin to reopen businesses, White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci is warning that reopening too soon could lead to ‘little spikes’ in coronavirus cases that could turn into further outbreaks. … ‘My concern [is] that if some areas, city, states, or what have you, jump over those various checkpoints and prematurely open up without having the capability of being able to respond effectively and efficiently, my concern is that we will start to see little spikes that might turn into outbreaks,’ Fauci said in response to a question from Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.),” 5/12/20

 

###