The White House has reportedly barred all members of its coronavirus task force from testifying before Congress for the month of May, RealClearPolitics reported Monday.
The news comes after the White House prevented Dr. Anthony Fauci, a task force member, from testifying to Congress last week. The Democrat-controlled House has established a panel to investigate the U.S. response to the coronavirus and whether preventative measures could have been implemented sooner. (RELATED: ‘Blatant Xenophobia’: Democrats, Critics Fume Over Trump’s Pending Immigration Ban)
“For the month of May, no task force members, or key deputies of task force members, may accept hearing invitations,” the WH document obtained by RCP reads. “All other departments, agencies, and witnesses may accept hearing invitations; however, agency resources should still be prioritized toward the COVID-19 response.”
White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deer says the members can’t appear because they are busy with their work within the task force. (RELATED: Asked Whether China Censored Early Coronavirus Data, Senior WHO Official Said He ‘Didn’t Look’)
“While the Trump administration continues its whole-of-government response to COVID-19, including safely opening up America again and expediting vaccine development, it is counterproductive to have the very individuals involved in those efforts appearing at congressional hearings,” he told reporters last week.