Fauci to be grilled by House GOP on COVID origins, future pandemics

House Republicans are planning to grill US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Anthony Fauci on Wednesday about the origins and spread of the novel coronavirus, as well as how the US can prepare for future pandemics.

The hearing before the House Subcommittee on Health is part of a broader effort from Republicans to focus on how the US’-led response to the pandemic could have been better managed. Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), the subcommittee’s chairman, said Tuesday that members would question Fauci “on the steps we must take to prepare for potential future pandemics, and the strategic actions the United States must undertake to protect its citizens from any incoming threat.”

Fauci has been at the center of scientific discussions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic from the beginning, testifying before Congress multiple times and helping guide the federal response to the crisis. With over 500,000 Americans having died of the disease, the longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is sure to be asked about the US government’s response and what lessons can be drawn from it.

In addition to Wednesday’s hearing, Fauci is likely to field tough questions from Republicans about the origin of the novel coronavirus. Some members of the GOP have questioned the veracity of the World Health Organization’s conclusion that the virus originated naturally in animals.