Dr. Anthony Fauci. Photo by Kaveh Rezael, Voice of America

After wasting approximately ten thousand hours of Dr. Anthony Fauci's time making him stand behind Herr Orange Hair at those useless coronavirus briefings, the White House has suddenly become very protective of the good doctor. They simply cannot spare him this week to brief the House Appropriations Committee's Labor-HHS-Education subgroup on the pandemic response.

"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 counter-productive to have the very individuals involved in those efforts appearing at Congressional hearings," White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement. "We are committed to working with Congress to offer testimony at the appropriate time."

An unnamed "senior administration official" assured the Washington Post that no coverup was afoot, and this was certainly not the opening salvo in an effort to stonewall the House's oversight of the administration's coronavirus response. Far from it!

"It's not muzzling, it's not blocking, it's simply trying to ensure we're able to balance the need for oversight, the legitimate need for oversight, with their responsibilities to handle COVID-19 work at their respective agencies and departments," said a White House employee, speaking in his official capacity and yet unwilling to attach his name to such an obvious falsehood. Mr. Anonymous also claimed to be protecting Fauci's health during quarantine. Because if you're going to lie, LIE BIG.


Apparently, that "appropriate time" is next week, in front of a Senate panel controlled by Republicans, who are magically immune to coronavirus and thus pose no health risk whatsoever to the essential Dr. Fauci, the only person in Trump's orbit with an iota of credibility. The doctor, who heads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, will testify before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on May 12, exactly one week after the House appearance the White House put the kibosh on.

Of course, the White House's new spokesliar, Kayleigh McEnany, blamed Democrats for Fauci's failure to appear, telling Fox, "we pressed for details as to why Dr. Fauci in particular was the right person for the testimony and this hearing, those details were never provided." Which sounds highly suspect, but is at least logical on its face. So an improvement over the Huckster!

But we all know exactly what Hootenanny means here. Trump and his minions have taken the position that compliance with House oversight is entirely optional, and they're not going to let Nancy Pelosi and the House Dems get Fauci on record detailing the numerous failures of the administration's disastrous coronavirus response. Or speculating that the death toll could top 100,000. Or tanking the stock market by predicting that the virus will be back in the fall, AKA the third and fourth quarters when Donald Trump has promised explosive economic growth. Or criticizing red state governors for announcing that it's all good, and everyone can go back to work now. Or saying that Mike Pence should have worn a mask to the Mayo Clinic. Or noting that Mike Pompeo's inane race-baiting about the coronavirus being a Chinese bioweapon is both false and extremely unhelpful. Or saying that there is NFW we'll have a vaccine widely available by November. Or ...

Yeah, they are never, not ever, letting that guy go before House Democrats. As for the appearance before the Senate next week, well ... we'll believe that one when we see it.

[CNN / WaPo]

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.

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