House Coronavirus Committee To Hold First Briefing On Reopening Economy

Wednesday, May 13th 2020, 6:38 am
By: CBS News

The newly formed House committee tasked with overseeing the coronavirus response is holding its first briefing on reopening the economy amid the pandemic, with five experts set to speak to lawmakers Wednesday afternoon.

The committee, formally known as the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, will hear from a bipartisan panel of experts, but no one from the administration will be in attendance. The White House has declined to make officials available for testimony before the House, which is controlled by Democrats.

Witnesses in Wednesday's briefing, scheduled for 3 p.m., include:

  1. Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner
  2. Dr. Mark McClellan, former FDA commissioner
  3. Dr. Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute
  4. Dr. Tom Inglesby, director of the Center for Health Security, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  5. Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association

The hearing comes one day after several administration officials testified before a Senate committee, including CDC Director Robert Redfield, FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn and Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

The Trump administration blocked Fauci from appearing before a House committee to discuss spending on coronavirus testing earlier this month. President Trump told reporters last week that he doesn't want officials appearing before House Democrats, who hold the majority.

"The House is a setup," Mr. Trump said. "The House is a bunch of Trump haters."

The White House Office of Legislative Affairs sent a memo to all House and Senate committee staff directors last week that bars all members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force from appearing before a congressional committee without the permission of chief of staff Mark Meadows.

First published on May 13, 2020 / 7:00 AM

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