Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Monday ripped into the Trump White House for banning coronavirus task force members from testifying before Congress, suggesting “they might be afraid of the truth.”
The Trump administration on Monday issued new guidance instructing coronavirus task force members not to accept invitations to participate in congressional hearings this month unless they are first approved by White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.
“The demands on agencies’ staff and resources are extraordinary in this current crisis. Agencies must maximize their resources for COVID-19 response efforts and treat hearing requests accordingly,” the guidance says.
“Given these competing demands in these unprecedented times, it is reasonable to expect that agencies will have to decline invitations to hearings to remain focused on implementing of COVID-19 response, including declining to participate in multiple hearings on the same or overlapping topics,” it adds.
The White House late last week blocked Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, from testifying before a House committee hearing scheduled for Wednesday.
Pelosi said Congress needs to hear from these top government officials handling the COVID-19 response to help lawmakers determine how resources should be allocated in upcoming coronavirus relief legislation.
“The fact is that we need to allocate resources for this. In order to do that, any appropriations bill must begin in the House. And we have to have the information to act upon,” Pelosi said during an interview on CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.”
Pelosi added that Meadows knows House Democrats will be “very, very strictly insisting on the truth.”
“And they might be afraid of the truth,” Pelosi said.
The White House is blocking key officials from testifying to Congress about the response to the coronavirus crisis. This is just the latest sign of Trump’s efforts to keep the truth from the American people. #SitRoom pic.twitter.com/XDdTCMKEkv
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) May 5, 2020