Health officials answer questions on Capitol Hill about coronavirus

Washington-DC

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WEHT) Top officials from the National Institutes of Health testified before House lawmakers Wednesday about their proposed 2021 budget. The experts also fielded questions over rising concerns of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was back on Capitol Hill Wednesday, keeping lawmakers up to speed on the deadly COVID-19.

“The mortality for seasonal flu is .1 percent, so even if it goes down to 1 percent, it’s still 10 times more fatal.”

Fauci’s testimony comes a day after briefing the president on efforts at the National Institutes of Health to create an effective vaccine.

“I predicted that we would be about 2-3 months to go into phase 1 trials, and I think we’re going to beat that. I think we’ll be in probably 6 weeks.”

Despite moving with record speed to create that vaccine, Fauci told lawmakers it will still be at least a year before it’s ready.

Connecticut Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro is working on approving $7.8 billion of emergency supplemental funding money that will support research on identifying and treating the disease.

“We’re looking to try to move as quickly as we can between today and tomorrow – but before the end of this week to get this finalized and voted on.”

Once House lawmakers approve the funding, the bill moves to the Senate.

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(This story was originally published on March 4, 2020)

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