Fauci speaks next to Deborah Birx, in a meeting with President Trump on April 29. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

The Trump administration has blocked Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, from testifying on the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: Fauci has often given Americans a reality check on the administration's response to the coronavirus and has garnered bipartisan credibility for his straight-forward approach to the crisis.

  • The Washington Post first reported that the administration rejected the House committee's request for Fauci's testimony, quoting a spokesman for the House Appropriations Committee.

Flashback: Fauci testified in March that America's system of making coronavirus tests available is not set up in a way it needs to be.

  • Fauci and Deborah Birx, the White House's coronavirus response coordinator, are set to "take a back seat" to the White House messaging on coronavirus, a White House official told Axios' Jonathan Swan this week.

The backstory, per Axios' Alayna Treene: Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) reached out to the White House chief of staff Mark Meadows about having Fauci testify, a White House official tells Axios.

  • "We expressed openness from the White House to having him testify but requested we be given the parameters of what the hearing would entail so we could determine if he was the best guest [sic] or if it was someone else’s jurisdiction," the official said.
  • The official said that Rep. Lowey never followed up with Meadows.

What they're saying: "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 spokesperson Judd Deere said in a statement.

  • "We are committed to working with Congress to offer testimony at the appropriate time."

Go deeper ... Fauci: Everyone who needs a test should be able to get one by June

Go deeper

Aug 10, 2020 - Health

97,000 children test positive for coronavirus in two weeks

A boy has his temperature checked as he receives a free COVID-19 test in South Los Angeles in July. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

At least 97,000 children tested positive for COVID-19 in the final two weeks of July and there's been an estimated 338,000 cases involving kids in the U.S. since the pandemic began, a new report finds.

Why it matters: The report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children's Hospital Association comes as schools and day cares look to reopen in the U.S.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
Aug 10, 2020 - Health

How to do smarter coronavirus testing

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

With testing once again a huge vulnerability to America’s coronavirus response, public health officials are calling for a revamped strategy that features the use of more tests, even if they're imperfect.

Why it matters: The system is overwhelmed by the demand for tests, and yet prolific testing is key to identifying asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic coronavirus cases. Experts say the solution is smarter testing — which doesn't require perfect accuracy.

Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

Expand chart
Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has active no coronavirus cases in the community after the final six people linked to the Auckland cluster recovered, the country's Health Ministry confirmed in an email Wednesday.

The big picture: The country's second outbreak won't officially be declared closed until there have been "no new cases for two incubation periods," the ministry said. Auckland will join the rest of NZ in enjoying no domestic restrictions from late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, declaring that NZ had "beat the virus again."

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