Fauci, other health officials testify at Senate coronavirus hearing

Public health officials and doctors have criticized the Trump administration’s lack of coordinated response to the virus. President Donald Trump has been downplaying the outbreak, saying the United States is nearing the end of the pandemic, unlike experts in his own administration.

Meanwhile, US health officials are urging Americans to get a flu shot, as the coronavirus and seasonal flu in the fall could put a “tremendous burden” on American hospitals.

“In the context of COVID-19’s likely continued activity, getting a flu shot is more important now than ever,” Redfield said in prepared comments submitted to the committee. “Getting a flu shot will help keep you and your loved ones out of doctors’ offices and hospitals, and will help conserve scarce medical resources to care for patients with COVID-19.”

Fauci told members of Congress last week that parts of the United States are beginning to see a “disturbing increase” in coronavirus infections.

While new Covid-19 cases were declining in New York and elsewhere, cases are increasing in other states, reflecting “an increase in community spread,” Fauci told the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House last week. “That is something that really concerns me quite a bit.”

There are no FDA-approved treatments for coronavirus. US health officials and scientists compete to develop a vaccine, which Fauci hopes will be ready early next year.

He is expected to tell the Senate committee that the Modern biotech firm is slated to begin late-stage testing for a possible vaccine in July, pending positive results from a mid-stage trial.

Read CNBC live updates for the latest news on the Covid -19 outbreak.


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