A congressional hearing on the coronavirus pandemic became heated on Thursday after Republican Jim Jordan repeatedly challenged infectious diseases expert Dr. Anthony Fauci for a timeline on an end to public safety measures.
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Jordan demanded to know when Americans could “get their liberty and freedoms back”.
In response, Fauci said, “I don’t look at this as a liberty thing… I look at this as a public health thing.”
When Jordan went over his allotted question time, demanding a specific metric from Fauci for an end to coronavirus restrictions, Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters interjected, telling him: “You need to respect the chair and shut your mouth.”
Fauci, the director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky testified before the US House Oversight Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis in a hybrid hearing called: “Reaching the Light at the End of the Tunnel: A Science-Driven Approach to Swiftly and Safely Ending the Pandemic.”
Health officials have pleaded with the public to wear masks to limit the spread of the virus. Still, the issue has become politically divisive in the US, unlike many other countries that have seen far lower rates of infection and death.
Former US President Donald Trump minimized the need for coronavirus restrictions, including wearing masks, and predicted the pathogen would disappear “like a miracle.”
The coronavirus has killed more than 564,000 people in the US, more than any other country.