Dr. Anthony Fauci will face a congressional grilling later this spring, having agreed to testify before the House panel investigating the origins and government response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Fauci, who retired from public service at the end of 2022, will testify before the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic on June 3, Chairman Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) announced Wednesday. 

It will be the infectious diseases expert’s first public appearance before Congress since his retirement as President Biden’s chief medical advisor and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Fauci will testify before the House panel investigating the COVID-19 pandemic on June 3. AP

“Retirement from public service does not excuse Dr. Fauci from accountability to the American people,” Wenstrup said in a statement. 

“On June 3, Americans will have an opportunity to hear directly from Dr. Fauci about his role in overseeing our nation’s pandemic response, shaping pandemic-era polices, and promoting singular questionable narratives about the origins of COVID-19,” the Ohio Republican added. 

Fauci, 83, is expected to face questions about his advocacy for social distancing and contradictory advice on mask-wearing early in the pandemic, during his time as a member of former President Donald Trump’s White House Coronavirus Task Force. 

The immunologist will also likely be asked about millions of dollars in federal grants given to EcoHealth Alliance to conduct coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. 

A former senior adviser to Fauci at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases was recently found by the House COVID-19 panel to have shared “confidential” communications with EcoHealth Alliance about how the agency, and Fauci, were preparing to respond to accusations that they funded risky gain-of-function experiments on coronaviruses in Wuhan. 

Fauci sat for a 14-hour-long transcribed interview with the House panel in January, during which he admitted to signing off on NIAID grants without personally reviewing the project proposals and acknowledged that the hypothesis that COVID-19 leaked out of a Chinese lab was not a conspiracy theory. 

“Retirement from public service does not excuse Dr. Fauci from accountability to the American people,” Rep. Brad Wenstrup said in a statement.  Georgetown University

His answers related to social distancing guidelines and vaccine mandates imposed on Americans during the pandemic also raised concerns among some lawmakers on the panel. 

“During Dr. Fauci’s closed-door interview in January, he testified to serious systemic failures in our public health system that deserve further investigation,” Wenstrup said, “including his testimony that the ‘6 feet apart’ social distancing guidance — which was used to shut down small businesses and schools across America — ‘sort of just appeared.’”

“This raises significant concerns about public health officials and the validity of their policy recommendations during the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added. “We also learned that he believes the lab leak hypothesis he publicly downplayed should not be dismissed as a conspiracy theory.”

“As the face of America’s public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic, these statements raise serious questions that warrant public scrutiny.”

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