On Tuesday, several prominent authorities on COVID-19, including NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci, testified before the U.S. Senate on new COVID-19 variants amid a sharp rise in Omicron cases across the country.
The hearing, called “Addressing New Variants: A Federal Perspective on the COVID-19 Response,” also featured Centers for Disease Control (CDC) director Rochelle Walensky, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) acting commissioner Janet Woodcock; and assistant secretary of Health and Human Services for Preparedness and Response Dawn O’Connell.
During the hearing, Fauci got into a heated debate with Republican Sen. Rand Paul. The senator criticized Fauci over the way the doctor has led the U.S. pandemic response, claiming the Fauci “uses government resources to smear and to destroy the reputations of other scientists” who may chime in with opposing views. The doctor responded that none of senator’s claims are true in his estimation. Fauci also said Paul’s claims that he is personally responsible for the death of millions due to the coronavirus is “irresponsible” and distracts from the true goal of getting the ongoing pandemic under control.
This came as the CDC advised on Monday against travel to Canada because of a rising number of COVID-19 cases.
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