Nobody’s buying Trump’s sudden concern for Dr. Anthony Fauci’s time as the reason he’s being prevented from testifying to a House pandemic oversight committee.
May 2, 2020

After screwing up the U.S. pandemic response, Donald Trump is now working to prevent Americans from finding out just how bad it was. Yesterday, The Washington Post reported that the White House claimed it blocked Fauci from testifying at a House committee hearing investigating the coronavirus outbreak and response — because it would be “counterproductive” — while the Trump administration is engaged in its "whole-of-government response to COVID-19."

Sure it would be. Counterproductive to Trump’s attempts to shirk responsibility for his mishandling of the pandemic, they mean. In addition to blocking Fauci from the House (but making him available to the GOP-controlled Senate), Trump also just got rid of the HHS inspector general, Christi Grimm, in a late Friday night firing.

A stellar panel on AM Joy saw the obstruction efforts for what they are. Rep. Katie Porter highlighted how Trump is systematically blocking crucial information needed by the public.

PORTER: During the critical weeks leading up to the announcement of the pandemic, in February and late January even, throughout March, Dr. Fauci testified in a bipartisan congressional briefing for all members, each and every single week. And he was terrific and helpful in providing members with education and things that we could take back to our communities. So I think he absolutely should be allowed to testify.

And I'm very concerned about how the president continues to attack our inspector general community which exists solely to protect the American taxpayers from fraud, waste, and abuse, and to make sure that these programs are effective on the ground.

Host Joy Reid suggested that Trump needs a “sort of czar,” like George W. Bush eventually had with Hurricane Katrina, to run the pandemic response. Trump “seems to be running point on it himself. And that seems to be the problem,” Reid said.

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel thought one czar is probably not enough. One “whole group” is probably needed for food distribution and another one for testing, he said, just as examples.

Then he called out the Fauci BS for what it is.

EMANUEL: I note that Tony Fauci has been at these press conferences day in and day out, standing up there for two hours. Maybe having ten minutes of time at the podium over that stretch of time. That didn't seem to be a waste of his time. So I'm not sure why going to Capitol Hill for a briefing that would be maybe two or three hours once would constitute a waste of time. Obviously not a valid explanation.

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