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tv   Dr. Fauci and CDC Director Walensky on COVID-19 Response  CSPAN  June 17, 2022 10:02am-12:47pm EDT

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but going to a diner for internetwork is harder. we are providing students access to free internet, so homework and just be homework. cox, connecting complete. >> giving you a front row seat to democracy. >> dr. anthony fauci, who recently tested positive for covid, appeared virtually at a hearing to the federal response to the coronavirus, also testifying, fda commissioner dr. robert kalev. this hearing is two hours 45 minutes.
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today we are having a hearing on the ongoing federal response to the covid-19 pandemic. i will have an opening statement, followed by ranking member burns, and we will introduce our witnesses. after we do testimony, senators will have five minutes for rounds of questions. one of our witnesses, dr. fauci, will testify remotely by video following a positive covid test. i appreciate the work of our committee staff to make it
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possible to accommodate this so we can hear from dr. fauci while he isolates and recovers. while we are unable to have the hearing fully open to the public, the committee is available on our website. if anyone needs accommodations, including close captioning, please reach out to the office of congressional ability services. there is another issuer -- we are all extremely focused on. flooding from the storms has forest avenue it in sturgis -- has forced avenue it in start -- abbott in sturgis offline. i hope you can speak directly to the families in washington state and around the country about what happened and how you are taking action to get them
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formula, and making sure that we do not worsen the crisis or delay the work to get formula back on the shelf as soon as possible. i want to return to you for that before we begin the rest of the hearing. >> there we go. thanks, senator murray, and senator burr. for giving me a moment to speak about this -- we have twice daily intensive calls with all the work streams working on the infant formula issue. at the end of the call yesterday, i commented it was one of the first days we had not had any surprises. 20 minutes later, the email came across about the flood in sturgis, which is forcing that facility to temporarily shut down. this is an unfortunate setback and a reminder that natural weather events can cause unforeseen disruptions in supply chains. i had a call with the ceo last
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night. he shares our desire to get the facility up and running again as soon as possible. avenue it is working to assess the damage today and we will be talking daily. we have our people in the facility to help get it up as quickly as we possibly can. do your main question, which is i know -- which i know is of most importance, most of us are concerned about parents trying to get formula for their infants. i want to reassure parents and caregivers that this means we will have more than enough product to meet current demand and the fda has committed to working closely with abbott so sturgis can continue producing products quickly. thanks to the collaboration of all the players in the market, we for the first time are getting reduction numbers from them about -- production numbers
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from them about how much formula each company is producing, including abbott, which has wrapped up its other plants and is meeting the supply production quotas they were using before the shutdown. all the other manufacturers have increased their production, and we have fly formula in full swing now. we had hoped to have a super supply so we get the shelves fully restocked. it's too early to give an exact estimate of what the delay will be in the sturgis plants. >> thank you. i assure you all americans will be following this closely. we want to be kept updated and learn the facts, making sure parents of this country are getting what they need. >> i understand, thank you. >> thank you. with that, we will turn to the
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hearing at hand. let me begin by saying, we have made a lot of progress in the fight against this pandemic. it's easier to get tests, schools have safely returned to in person learning, businesses have reopened and there are new life-saving treatments for people with covid and multiple safe, effective vaccines. there is encouraging news to suggest vaccines for kids under age five will be available soon, something i know parents across my state and the country are eagerly awaiting. across the country, we have got over half a billion shots in arms, three and four people have gotten there first covid vaccination, two thirds of people are fully vaccinated. this is remarkable progress, but we have to remember the hardships of this pandemic, especially the early days and the hard work it took us to get us to where we are today. covid-19 has killed over one million people in our country, that is an unthinkable loss.
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it closed businesses, shifted schools online, and as we know, a lot more. we cannot afford to get caught off guard by this virus again. we cannot afford to go back. that's why i am shocked that i still have to remind my colleagues, the progress we have made so far was not guaranteed. it was accomplished through congressional action and robust investments. what happens next is not a given either. it's up to us to stay the course and our support and investments if we are going to protect our families and communities from whatever this pandemic throws at us next. that's why passing emergency funding to continue our response has to be a top priority for every single one of us, because make no mistake -- it's not a matter of if this pandemic will throw us another curveball, it's a matter of when. that's why emergency covid funding is not something that would be nice to have, it's something that we desperately
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need. if we wait until there is already in new -- a new dangerous variant or we are in the middle of a fall and winter surge, which experts are predicting will happen, we will have missed the boat. we need to be doing everything we can to now to get ready. that's why i want to hear more about this from all of our witnesses today. what do we need to do right now so we are not caught off guard later? one thing we already know, when it comes to pandemics and public health, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. we need to be investing in prevention now. we need to be ordering the treatments we need for fall surge. especially when it can take six months to manufacture paxlovid, we need to be ordering the
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vaccines we need now and combating the information that is already prevalent and damaging now. we need to be getting the testing, ppe, we will need lined up for our schools and health care facilities now. let's be clear, we cannot keep buying the same test, treatments and vaccines when this virus is getting more effective at evading them. as important as these continue to be to our progress, we cannot act as though the vaccines and therapeutics we have now are the end-all be-all. we have to keep several irons in the fire, support the next generation, and avoid getting caught where our tools and options are limited to a few companies. we know this virus will not play favorites. that's why it's critical we invest in the resources and development, vaccines that are better and easier to store,
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transport and administer. once there is a variance that cannot be detected by our current tests, that does not respond to current treatment, we've got to be ready. the development of these critical tools can take time. that's be clear -- none of that would be unprecedented. in fact, it is to be expected. when that happens, time is of the essence to save lives and families are counting on us right now to act like it. the reality is, we are already running out of resources to prepare for the fall, and we are running out of time to fix that. we have been yelling from the rooftops, warning what is at risk if we do not get this done. i am at a loss as to how i can possibly make the urgency of this moment more clear to all of our republican colleagues. the fact that the administration has had to resort from
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allocating resources to our long-term needs to keep our short-term response afloat, that is not a solution. that is a stopgap. it should be a clear sign of how urgent it is that congress take action. we need to continue to support a full, robust response that is simply too important to scramble again on short notice or shortchange our communities. in addition to more resources, we need to make sure we are giving our communities the guidance and technical assistance they need to get ready as well. this is especially critical for our schools. school officials and educators want to do everything they can to keep our students safely in the classroom. everyone wants that, but we cannot leave them waiting until the back-to-school season if we are going to make it happen. schools in my state want to know what they can be doing right now to get ready for the next school year. how can they best position themselves to make sure that if we have a fall surge, we have the resources and plan in place
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that protect students and educators and keep them safely in the classroom? i want to hear more from our witnesses about how they are working with the department of education to get what they need. we need to make sure we are ready for whatever public health threat we face next, period. that means making sustained public investments in our system -- sustained investments in our public health system, bold investments in pandemic preparedness, strengthening our federal policies and processes like we are working to do in our bipartisan prevent pandemic act. and i know i've said it already, but i will say it again and again -- until we get this done, passing the emergency covid funding we need to make sure our communities are able to continue getting back to normal, not back to the darkest days of this
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pandemic, when we could not get tested, we did not have effective treatment or vaccines. it should not be the time to settle for doing too little or acting too late. it is clear to me and certainly clear to the families i am hearing from in washington state. i will keep pressing for us to get emergency funding past as soon as possible, and get our communities everything they need to keep people safe. i am asking my republican colleagues to please consider the cost of an action, consider what it means for our doctors or nurses, small business owners, families and friends, including seniors and immunocompromised people if we let covid get the better of us because we failed to make a modest investment right now. i hope we can work together and find a path forward here. senator burke, i will turn it over to you. senator burke: thank you, madam
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chairman. tony, i hope you're having a mild case. to our witnesses, thank you for coming back to the health committee. when we were last together in january, we were in the throes of the original omicron surge. i asked you one basic question -- what's the plan? i hope in your opening statements or maybe when i ask this question, someone will give me an answer. the chairman did a fabulous job of painting republicans as an obstacle. we spent 1.9 billion dollars on covid he year ago. where has that money gone? how has it been spent? where is it obligated? no plan has been presented, but
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on multiple occasions, the chairman has been in the room when i say, present us a plan. this tells us what you would buy if you got $10 billion, 17.5 billion dollars, and it's confidential. this isn't a plan. when is someone going to share with the american people what destination we are trying to get to, and how we are getting to that destination? we are still in crisis management and 2.5 years into this. i am so pathetic of dr. fauci's position -- sympathetic of dr. fauci's position, because we are dealing with a virus that continues to evolve and change. but since the time we last got together, we have seen omicron subvariant's take hold. cases of ba four nba five are
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creeping up around the country. in january, i asked yet again how this administration was looking to other countries that have already experienced new surges so we can prepare for the impact of new variance in the u.s. and inform our response? ba four nba five -- b.a.4 and b.a.5 caused more infections. the number infections increased daily. we are learning from other countries and regions that are ahead of us, like israel and europe. what do we need to be doing today to ensure we are repaired in the weeks and months to come? i have asked you repeatedly about studies out of israel and other countries. i have been frustrated by the lack of detail about what you are learning from other
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countries and how it informs our covid response, so quite frankly, i sent my staff to israel over memorial day recess. it's my understanding that we meet regularly either by phone or in person, with our israeli counterparts. they share the latest covid trends in israel and any updated data on the vaccine clinical trials and studies. if you are getting the information readily, why is it taking so long for us to act on it? health-care workers that were four months past their third dose. israeli health ministers announced new data at the end of january demonstrating additional protections from vaccine doses for those 60 and older. it took cdc three months to produce similar steps.
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israel has also taken steps to appropriately target the use of limited covid-19 countermeasures. it will target its supply of oral antivirals to treat those with the greatest risk of severe illness to keep them out of the hospital and keep them alive. meanwhile, the biden administration developed a new plan -- test and treat. provide therapeutics to anyone who presented and came up positive. the terms of the emergency use authorization are that pfizer drugs should be given to high-risk patients, not everyone who tests positive. there is the israeli data influence. but the way we have applied the instructions from fda, hand it out to anybody who tests positive. test positive? give them the antibodies. the terms of the emergency use
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authorization, i've said, but i will quote this. this was the president -- people can get tested for the pharmacy and if positive, receive antiviral pills on the spot at no cost. so either the president was confused about his own announcement or you are deliberately giving these pills to too many patients, violating the terms of the eua, putting people at risk, wasting treatments and taxpayer dollars. i am puzzled by our approaches when so much data is being regularly shared between health leaders in both countries. before we say our countries are different sizes, i will remind you, we can approve drugs and devices based on samples of just a few thousand patients. the virus is the same in israel and in the united states, and we
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have seen israel get hit by new variance between six and eight weeks before the united states. israel's quick and decisive actions in early december delayed the onset of omicron waves by five weeks. they have a clear path and clear leadership. meanwhile, we have discarded over 82 million covid vaccine doses in the united states, and this administration assumes that at least 50% of booster doses we purchased this fall will go to waste. my god, folks. let's figure out a different plan for inoculating these people. why do we keep falling further behind? what are we trying to do about it? why are we learning from our mistakes? it does not seem like we are striving for anything other than mediocrity. have we given up? i can highlight just a few more
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of the glaring inconsistencies -- in april, cdc released data indicating nearly 66% of the americans and 75% of the american people and 75% of children had at least one covid-19 infection by the end of february. the more recent data has not been released. i imagine the infection grade is even higher today given the recent spikes in cases. we know the majority of americans age five and older are vaccinated. the majority of americans have some degree of protection against the virus, yet we only removed our predeparture testing requirements for travelers entering the united states illegally this past sunday. many eu countries lifted their pre-entry testing requirements for fully vaccinated travelers in february and march. canada followed suit in april. this is not an isolated example of where we lagged behind because we either don't believe
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the data they are providing or it doesn't fit with the narrative that we are trying to carry out. in response to a letter i wrote about my concerns with cdc termination of a title 42 order, you wrote "the covid-19 risk for u.s. communities is greatly reduced for most people compared to earlier in the pandemic. ." we are still taking months to remove restrictions that other countries have been removing since february. the american people are fed up with confusing messaging and inconsistent response. let me ask again -- what is the plan? more than two years into this pandemic, the american people are going back to work in person, attending weddings, events, traveling for work and leisure, and government still allows its employees at the fda,
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cdc, and within a c hhs platform to work remotely. individuals who are at higher risk for severe illness are those that live in communities with higher levels of circulating virus. those are the precautions they need to take to keep themselves and their families safe. if they get sick, we have tests and treatments to help them recover. we know more now than we did two years ago. we have more tools today to save more lives. do we know everything? no. it's past time to think about the future. i have asked you over and over and over again for a plan. a plan for gaining back the trust of the american people and moving our country forward. six months later, i have not received inadequate response to what the plan actually is -- an adequate response to what the
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plan actually is. let me begin by asking each of you a slightly different question -- each plan is crafted around and intended outcome? out of all of you to answer this -- what is your endgame? maybe i will respond differently about the attacks we are seeing, of republicans on the way of funding emergency money. but cdc says it is not an emergency anymore, why they are ending title 42. i could go through a litany of things that suggest this has transformed somewhere. we are in a period where there needs to be accountability for how we spent the $1.9 trillion devoted to covid. i think any country in the world laughs at the way we are spending our money relative to this crisis and this virus.
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so, i will continue to ask you for a plan until we get one, and i will continue to be a roadblock for those that believe we can blindly just appropriate emergency money, borrow it from the chinese and spend it on something that none of us have a clue as to what the plan is. i think the chair and yield back. >> i will now introduce today's witnesses. dr. rochelle walensky, dr. anthony fauci is the chief medical advisor on president biden's covid-19 response team, dr. fauci, we appreciate you joining us virtually following your positive covid test. we all wish you a speedy recovery. dr. robert kayliss is here,
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and assistant secretary o'connell as well. thank you for joining us today. we look forward to your testimony and will begin with dr. wilensky. >> members of the senate health committee, i appreciate the opportunity to join you once again to provide an update on the covid-19 pandemic and the work cdc continues to do to help americans live safer, healthier lives. it was just over a month ago that we surpassed one million covid deaths in the united states. too many, that number seemed unthinkable when the pandemic began, but it is a sobering reality that many of us have experienced great loss over the past two years. we haven't said -- have experienced another increase in covid cases, which has resulted in more hospitalizations and deaths.
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however, this has resulted in fewer hospitalizations and deaths due to surges in the past . twice as many people live in medium to high community levels as one month ago. these have been powerful tool to empower communities and jurisdictions to limit the impact of covid-19. our ability to manage covid today is in large part due to the tools we have, vaccines, tests, treatments and masks. we continued to increase access to these important tools every day so americans can better protect themselves. we recently expanded the eligibility of covid vaccine boosters for children ages five to 11, and just this week are coordinating with our colleagues at fda for children six months to five years to receive their first covid shot.
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nearly 8 million children 11 and younger have been diagnosed with covid, over 50,000 have been hospitalized and over 600 have died. i know many parents are anxiously waiting to vaccinate their children under five, and we are waiting for the data, and the vaccines are recommended only if they have safe and effective profiles. thanks to congressional support, cdc will be awarding $3 billion to your states to recruit, hire and train public health workers to face current and face current health threats. while this is an exciting opportunity to address a long-standing gap, i am concerned that a lack of ending for other response activities will and or scale back critical covid response work. congress and in the american people expect that cdc will continue studies to evaluate immunity, to conduct
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surveillance on covid. and it to support future vaccination efforts globally and domestically. we need additional funding to do that work. as we support our covid response efforts, we must not forget that this will not be our last public health challenge. and we continue to face future public health threats. we have seen monkeypox in the united states, and it cdc has supported testing and identification. however, as threats like monkeypox emerge, we run the risk of again being constrained by incomplete data from our fragmented public health data reporting system. we need to work together to support new authority for cdc to receive a timely, standardize, and uniform data. this pandemic has highlighted the need for disease agnostic investments to address the long-standing vulnerabilities in our public health system. need to support new authority for cdc to receive a timely, standardize, and uniform data. this pandemic has highlighted the need for disease agnostic
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investments to address the long-standing vulnerabilities in our public health system. the fiscal year 23 budget request proposes 28 billion dollars for cdc over five years. to enhance early warning and situational awareness capabilities. to support workforce programs. to bolster public health infrastructure. to invest in data modernization and to prioritize global health security initiatives. the budget also proposes a vaccine for adults program. modeled on the successful vaccine for children's program. this program highlights my and the administration's commitment to health equity. by creating a mandatory finding stream through which uninsured adults would have increased access to vaccinations. sustaining the infrastructure built during the covid pandemic. congressional support for these initiatives, accompanied by additional authorities to collect and coordinate public health data will strengthen our nation's ability to prepare for and respond to emerging public health and bio security
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threats. i'm committed to working with each and every one of you to find common ground. to support public health and make meaningful strides towards achieving health security for all americans both now and into the future. thank you, i look forward to your questions. >> thank you, doctor fauci? >> madam chair, ranking member burr, members of the committee, thank you for giving me the opportunity to discuss with you the role of the national institute of allergy and infectious diseases. and conducting and supporting resource addressing our nation's response to covid-19. and a hearing before this committee on january the 11th, i discussed the research efforts by nih to address the omicron variant. this variant has of all that with multiple mutations that are associated with an increased efficiency of transmission and immune evasion. of, our current vaccines have maintained their affection -- in preventing covid-19. however, individuals who have
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received only their primary vaccine regiment have a greater likelihood of getting affected infected with the omicron variant that with previous variants. importantly, booster shots have been shown to significantly reconstitute and enhance the level of antibodies that neutralize the omicron variant and its sub lineage is. since i last appeared before this committee, -- launch the co-failed trial to learn whether various fourth those booster regiments can further increase the durability of immune responses in adults. who have received their covid 19 vaccinations plus a single boost. we remain concerned that most children eligible to receive a covid-19 vaccine have not been vaccinated. and are a idea have collaborated with moderna are on the kidd coast i.d. to evaluate the safety and
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efficacy of more and are now or a vaccine to children. including those under five years of age. and initial results from the kid custody have helped inform the fbi's advisory committee in the recommendation to the fda concerning potential emergency use authorization for their vaccine in this population. also ultimately to inform the cdc in the recommendation. looking ahead to the anticipated emergence of new variants, the importance of developing the next generation of coronavirus vaccines is paramount. i referred to a vaccine that would be effective against all variants and ultimately effective against all coronaviruses, they have issued new awards to fund research to develop such coronavirus vaccines. and other involved entities
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also have made significant progress in the development of covid-19 therapeutics. we now have to cut the therapeutics have been made effective against the omicron variant and it's currently circulating sub lineage variance. these therapeutics include the oral anti viral drugs paxlovid and mana pair of ear as well as remdesivir and the monoclonal antibody back to lob in the man. olive which have niadid fingerprints on their development. in addition, niadid, is finding non antiviral drug discovery centers for pathogens of pandemic concern that will develop antivirals for use an outpatient settings that targets sars-cov-2 and other viruses with high potential to call pandemic. we know that even after people recover from an infection with sars covid two some will experience ongoing symptoms or
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other negative health effects after the acute infection has resolved. the nih recover initiative compliments ongoing niadid studies to better understand the various post acute manifestations of covid-19. the recovery team is building a diverse national study cohort and supporting large-scale studies on the long term effects of covid-19. niadid also is participating in caring for children with covid. a trans nih effort to better understand the rare but extremely serious multi system and planetary syndrome, or am i nfc has been associated with sars-cov-2 infection in children and adolescents. niadid well played important role in the government plan for epidemic preparedness that aims to develop and implement a
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range of countermeasures against important prototype pathogen families of viruses that threaten the health and safety not only, of our nation, but the entire world. thank you for your attention. i would be happy to answer your questions following the presentations of my colleagues. >> thank you, dr. fauci, dr. keyla? >> members of the committee, thanks for the opportunity to provide an update on fda's ongoing work related to the covid-19 pandemic. ftas thousands of employees remain steadfast in their commitment to fighting the pandemic. we will continue to use every tool in our tool box to arm ourselves with the best available diagnostics, lifesaving therapeutics, and vaccines to fight the virus. since our last update to this committee, fda has approved a second vaccine, the moderna vaccine, for individuals 18 and older, authorized a second booster dose of pfizer, moderna
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vaccines. for older people. and certainly immunocompromised individuals, and expanded elevated for the pfizer booster dose to children 5 to 11 years old. we've held advisory committee meetings this month. related to the emergency use request for the novavax vaccine to prevent covid-19. and individuals 18 years of age and older. for the moderna vaccine for six years through 17 years of age. just yesterday, for both the moderna vaccine for six months through five years of age and the pfizer biontech vaccine for six months through four years of age. in each case, without a dissenting vote, the committee agreed that the benefits outweigh the risk in the intended population. the agency is working diligently to can plead our evaluation of the data for these submissions. including taking into account the advisory committee's recommendations and will make a
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determination as quickly as we can. authorizing a vaccine with adequate evidence for safety and efficacy for young children. in particular remains a top agency priority. and addition, on june 28th, the advisory committee will meet to discuss whether the strain composition of covid-19 vaccines should be modified. which strain should be selected for the following. we also continue to employ our you ate already is to facilitate availability of tests, including home diagnostic test, molecular and zoology test. for treatment, as of may 21st 24 a two. there are more than 700 drug development programs in the planning stages. we have reviewed more than 460 trials for potential covid-19 therapies. these include antivirals, emanuel modulator, is that neutralizing antibodies, and combinations of these products.
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as well as a salem gene therapy. regarding thomas recover 19, fda issued an eua for a bafta low ahead for, the treatment of mild to moderate covid-19 in certain adapts and pediatric patient. in may, approved aluminum the serpent of her treatment of covid-19 and certain hospitalized adults. i'm a cardiologist, i'm accustomed to dealing directly with life and death. the best way to avoid dialing are getting critically ill requiring hospitalization from covid is to be up to date on your vaccination. you then get affected and your high risk, these new therapies offer additional protection against being that are in the hospital. just like heart attack patients who die without proper treatments, to open the blocked artery, a person who dies of covid without appropriate vaccinations and treatments is an unnecessary loss of life.
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i've evaluate therapies for four decades now. this is among the most robust data for saving lives that i've ever seen. it's not too late to get vaccinated. or boosted. so that you're up to date with your vaccinations. more than two years into this pandemic we continue to work around the clock will not compromising our scientific standards. we also continue to monitor changes of the pandemic. using our finite resources, we're supporting the extension of the country's arsenal of safe and effective vaccines and treatment. inaccurate in retirement last. it'll protect the american people as the virus continues to evolve. continue to face challenges, particularly in the area of access to data. we need to make the best decisions. it's imperative that we have access to complete data in order to prevent shortages, track adverse effects, and evaluate the safety, and effectiveness of medical products. -- particularly since the virus continues to change, leading to
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ongoing questions about the partners of initial data that leads to the ear, we are constantly working to get the day that we need together with our partners in a very collaborative ecosystem. the fragmentation of our health system makes it difficult for us to access complete data needed to monitor key parameters. we can do better. i hope we can continue to work together to address issues like these and learn from the covid-19 response efforts. thank you, i look forward to your questions. >> thank, you assistant secretary o'connell. >> chairman remember, and ms. distinguished member of the committee. it is an honor to testify before you today. on efforts within to respond to the covid-19 pandemic. the administration continues to apply a whole of government approach to protecting americans from covid-19. and asked for leads the operational response with responsibilities for recurring and distribute many of the tools needed to fight the virus, including vaccines, there are few, dickson test. thanks to the collaboration
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across hhs and with partners at d.o.d. and with private industry asper has delivered more than 750 million doses of safe effective and free vaccine to 90,000 vaccination sites in the country. contributing to 200 million people being fully vaccinated. we continue to allocate vaccines and booster to sites nationwide. we are now preparing to are desperate for kids under five should fda authorize and cdc recommend a vaccine for that population. we have made 10 million doses available to states, pharmacies, community health centers, and federal entities to order initially with more doses becoming available soon after. we are also preparing for the distribution of novavax is protein based vaccine, should it receives oscillation and recommendation. this would provide those who are allergic to mrna vaccines or prefer a non-emory vaccine to get vaccinated.
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well vaccines remain the best way to remain illness -- we continue to have therapeutics available to prevent and treat infection. today, aspr allocates for different products. to oral antivirals, one monoclonal antibody for treatment, and one monoclonal antibody for pre exposure prophylaxis for immunocompromised people. we remain focused on making sure that providers and patients know these products are available. that they are free, they can be found and in approximately 50,000 locations base and wide. testing continues to be a part part of the covid response, we've increased testing supply, availability, and affordability of the past year we. went from zero over the counter tests in january 2021 to approximately 300 million tests available this winter. aspr has secured more than 900 million test for distribution peppery through the u.s. postal service. so far, we delivered nearly 500 million tests to more than 70
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million american households. via the covid program. and we've just opened our third round of ordering. since may 2021, asper has also shipped over 149,000 rapid antigen tests and point of care pcr test to our most vulnerable populations. including nursing, homes federally qualified as it centers and long term facilities. in addition to the distribution of these tests, asper continues to work with companies and laboratories to identify and proactively address any supply issues. aspr continues to stop the strategic stockpile or s an s inventory to at or above pre-covid-19 levels, to ensure that we are prepared for the next wave of cases. we are doing so to the vest extent possible with the manufactured supplies and equipment. the sns currently has -- the respirators, --
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12.5 the numbers of gallons and coveralls. 272 times the number of gloves and ten times the number of ventilators than we had prior to the start of the pandemic. while covid has been anything but predictable, today we are in a much better position to respond and we were a year ago. a big reason is because congress, on a bipartisan basis, provided the resources needed to make sure americans had these free and widely available tools to protect themselves. unfortunately, without additional funding, our ability to prepare for whatever comes next is severely limited. last, week the administrator notified congress, that in the absence of new funding, it was repurposing 10.2 billion dollars in covid supplemental funding, taking it from critical programs in order to secure more of our most important tools. lifesaving vaccines and therapeutics. the difficult decision was made to divert funds from our testing program and the sns at a time when both programs are finally better positioned and
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better prepared than they had been at anytime in this response. they require funding to be maintained and strengthened, in order to stay that way. without additional supplemental, funds we are at a point where each spending decision comes with the difficult trade off. trade-offs that none of us want to make. i look forward to working with you on these difficult funding decisions, as we continue to respond to covid and prepare the country for whatever this virus might bring next. thank you for your support, i look for to answer your questions. >> i thank you to all of your witnesses this morning. we will now begin a round of five minute questions. i asked my colleagues to please keep track of your clock and stay within the five minutes. we are quickly running out of resources to prepare for another covid surge. i'm talking about vaccines that can keep us safe from the new covid variants, more accurate tests, new treatments that work against new variance to prevent serious illness and death. developing those products is essential, but it takes funding and it takes time.
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if we don't provide more funding, now the vaccines and treatments we need in the fall may not be available. i don't want to be in a situation again where our schools and childcare centers are closed or our hospitals and health care workers are overwhelmed. i want to make sure that everyone who wants a vaccine gets one in the fall. so, i want to ask each one of you individually this morning, why our initial investments in our covid response needed now? and how will our ability to prepare for and respond to covid change if we do not provide additional support? doctor walensky, i'll begin with you. >> thank, you chair marie. we have numerous ongoing studies that will not be able to continue. studies i believe the american people are interested in need to see. including two nationwide zero prevalence that he's anita ended december 2022. these include the national burden and incidents of infections, immunity and quality of protection. we are unable to continue our long term surveillance, that includes comprehensive monitoring of post-covid conditions. we will be unable to continue
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our mother to baby surveillance, that includes mothers with covid. we've learned a lot about how they impact on their babies, as well as the vaccine impact of pregnant women and on their babies. but we won't be able to do those studies for things like paxlovid and other their, phoenix including monoclonal antibodies. finally, cdc will not be able to continue its global efforts and in the future its efforts for support as well. thank you. >> dr. caleb? >> to me, the most important thing that will happen is people will be die or experience sometimes for maybe a lifetime unnecessarily, if they don't have access to the latest vaccines and antivirals. within the fda, we have to keep track of all this and adapt to this rapidly changing virus and the environment that it is in. i want to add one more component we haven't talked, about the supply chains of all of this. i've learned a lot about the food supply chain in the last few months, and is not just
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infant formula. we have multiple areas of agricultural supply that are tenuous of workers get sick and can't tend. we all remember the early days of the pandemic in that regard. >> miss o'connell? >> thank you. with additional funds, we've already seen that we're going to be limited in our ability to maintain domestic manufacturing of tests. we've been able to support that over the last several months and keep it ramped up to meet the demand, the american people have had, for over the counter tests. we're now having to divert funds away from that. we're also not going to be able to expand our domestic manufacturing of mrna vaccines. this is one of the things that we think is important for our current response and future preparedness. in addition, the strategic national stockpile is not going to be able to purchase domestically manufactured surgical gowns as we anticipated being able to do. will struggle to be able to maintain the current ppe levels that i just walked through. we are also unable to invest in
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the research and advanced research and development for the next generation vaccines and therapeutics. >> doctor fauci? >> yes, madam chair. as you know, the role of the nih is to do the basic clinical and translational research to develop that counter measures that we have so successfully in a part of that process to get as the vaccines, there predicts and diagnostics. as you mentioned in your opening, statement this virus is changing and we need to keep up with it. in order to do that, we have to do better with new vaccine platform such as nanoparticle vaccines. we cannot proceed with that unless we get additional funding. importantly, we need to both prevent infection and transmission. we know that we cannot do that unless we get a highly effective new coastal or intra-nasal vaccine. we have a number of products that will not be able to be funded unless we do get new
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resources to continue this funding. these are challenges we have that i believe will be letting the american people down if we do not use our scientific capabilities to meet the next challenge of this ever-changing virus. thank you. >> thank you. covid-19 vaccines have done incur edible job keeping people from getting severely ill, and covid treatments have, as we've known, save thousands of lives. however, we only have a limited number of treatments and vaccines and they are produced by a small number of companies. i think everyone in this room is worried we are over reliant on current products and not doing enough to get ahead with the next generation of vaccines or treatments or tests. i'm worried we're not investing in that research and development of products that we will need this winter. in our conversations, dr. fauci, miss o'connell, it is clear that and i age and aspr do not have sufficient resources to invest in that necessary resource and research work.
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dr. fauci, you talked about this a little, bit but talk about what you're doing to ensure that this next generation research is a priority for nih, and what can nih do to keep these products further along with its existing funding? >> thank, you madam chair. two examples of what we're doing with regards is the anti viral program for pandemics. where were you saying both similar to the paradigm and the discovery of drugs for hiv, namely that anti viral drugs. we will absolutely need more resources to get that done effectively. in addition, we have just awarded nine centers that are centers for, it's called, evade, the anti viral drug discovery centers. we have many across this, country we can fund many more and that would hasten the
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capability we have of developing new drugs. how we can tentative further that is to do what we have been doing all along. partner with our industrial partners to be able to do the fundamental basic concept of development and then together with -- , we've been successful in that partnership to develop these new drugs as well as diagnostics. >> thank you. senator burr? >> we'll turn to each of you for a yes or no answer. you've just described programs that you said would be devastating if emergency funding was not made available. did the administration request funding in their 2023 budget for the programs you just listed, doctoral and ski? >> i would have to get back to you in detail. >> doctor califf? >> i'm certain that part of it or requested, but not the full amount.
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>> miss o'connell? >> we're beginning the process of figuring out how to absorb these costs into our annual budget moving forward. >> all right, i asked, did they make a request? you came with very specific things that are not we -- are going to be disastrous if emergency spending is not -- we're doing the 23 budget, the budget requests coming from the administration. did they request these things? >> it's been over a year since we receive covid specific funding, a lot has changed. >> the administration just took money from the national strategic stockpile. they don't ask for, more they took. it they asked for less. >> -- >> doctor fauci, are all the things you just listed, are they in the 23 administration request of congress to fund? >> some of them are, senator. but not all of them. at the time that we put in that request, the opportunities to do some of the things we've done were not absolutely apparent to us, so that directly answered your question is not all of it is in the
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request. >> are you beginning to see the pattern as to why a plan is important? this has been a well orchestrated event up to this point, it's done you damage, it really has. doctor califf, we had the point in public health response where there is a commercial market for covid vaccines, treatments and diagnostics. yet fda still limiting who can purchase vaccines and treatments under the eua. nothing in the law requires that the purchaser of unauthorized or eua vaccine or treatment must be government. does fda have a plan to allow states or health care providers, including pairs, to purchase vaccines and treatments to help put purchasing decisions back in the hands of americans rather than government? >> senator burr. each of our departments, but drugs, biologics, as working with the and to transition, a
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number of them have already transitioned duffel -- >> you understand what i read in the statement was you actually write into the eua only government can purchase these. >> that is correct. >> the law does not restrict anybody else from purchasing, under an eua. it is a limitation you put in the eua, correct? >> yes, that's correct. >> all right. let's talk about euas a little bit further. the eua on antivirals. did i misstate anything that the anti viral eua states that it should only be prescribed to individuals that are at risk? >> pfizer did a robust clinical trial that included people at risk, at high-risk, by certain factors. we looked at the data, the data was compelling, that was the basis for the eua. >> and the eua says to be prescribed to individuals at risk? >> those at high risk, yes. >> so, does test and treat violate the restrictions and
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the eua of individuals who show up are not at risk, test positive and are given an anti viral? >> my interpretation of testing and treat is it still prescribing paxlovid, still in the eua. so, only those who meet the respect criteria would be prescribed. >> so, anybody that does not reach the risk criteria would be in violation of the eua? >> i think prescribing, as you know, is a complicated area of medical practice. so, when you say in violation, i'm not sure with the legal meeting of that in the context of medical practice. but people who are at low risk, a 25-year-old with covid and no comorbidities, would not be expected to get benefit so it would not make sense to prescribe it. >> was the vice president at high risk when she took the anti viral? >> i'm not aware of the vice presidents clinical status. as a physician, i wouldn't discuss a person's medical history. >> miss o'connell, just last week, hhs and now that it had
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found ten billion dollars in the couch. out of those funds previously provided for covid responses. i was surprised and frustrated here that these funds were overwhelmingly repurposed from within aspr, including the stockpile. it's my understanding that over a billion dollars will be taken from a strategic national stockpile. but are we given up in the stockpile so that billion dollars can be spread across the rest we >> thank, you senator. without additional funding, we've been forced to make difficult, decisions trade-offs that none of us want to make. that included finding an additional billion dollars from the strategic national stockpile. that funding would have gone to securing the purchase of domestically manufactured surgical gowns, in order to meet the requirement with the strategic national stockpile has for surgical gowns. so, we're going to be short there. we are also jeopardizing our ability to maintain the ppe at the levels that we currently are. every piece of equipment we
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have is warehouse, the where housing cost money -- by statute, you're supposed to lead a pandemic. i'm going to turn to you. tell me what the plan is. >> the administration put forward a plan on march 3rd with how it would spend the additional funds -- i >> understand how you would spend. it tell me what's the plan is. to get to some in game in covid. >> our plan involves short term providing, making sure that all americans have access to the critical tools needed to protect themselves. medium term, making sure that we have access to supplies moving forward, investing in domestic manufacturing. so we are not caught short footed, like we were in march of 2020. and then long term. research and development that we have talked about. to get us to the next generation of vaccines that won't require multiple boost, against a therapies that can be prescribed for everybody. that's where we need to go. >> if you can take the outline
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you are presented to me and get someone from the administration to fill in in between the action steps that are going to be taken, you might have a plan. thank you, madam chair. you >> senator paul. >> doctor fauci, the government recommends everybody take a booster over age five. are you aware of any studies that show reduction in hospitalization or death for children who take a booster. >> right now, there is not enough data that has been accumulated, senator paul, to indicate that is the case. i believe the recommendation that was made was based on the assumption that if you look at the morbidity and mortality of children within each of the age groups of, 05, 5 to 11 -- >> there are no studies in americans should all know this, there are no studies on children showing a reduction and hospitalization or death
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with taking a booster. the only studies that were permitted, the only starters that were presented, were antibody studies. so, they say if we give you a booster, you make antibodies. now, a lot of scientists were question whether or not that is proof of efficacy of a vaccine. if i give you ten, if i give a patient ten mrna vaccines, and they make protein each time, they make antibody each time, is that proof we should give ten boosters, dr. fauci? >> no, that is somewhat of an absurd exaggeration. -- >> that is the proof that you use. your committees use that. that is the only proof you have to tell children to take a booster that they make antibodies. it is not an absurdity. you are already at like five boosters for people. you've had, you know, two or three boosters. where is the proof? i think there is probably some indication for older folks that have some risk factors. for younger folks, there is not. here is the other thing. there are some rest factors for
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the vaccine. the risk of myocardia us with a second dose for adolescent boys 12 to 24 is about 80 in 1 million. this is both from the cdc and from the israeli study. it's also in the very study, remarkably similar, for boys, much higher than boys and girls. much higher than the background. the background is about two familiar. there is risk. there are risk. you're telling everybody in america, just blindly go out there. because we make antibodies. it is not an absurd -- in fact, you probably make antibodies if you get 100 boosters. all right, that is not science, that is conjecture. we should not be making public policy on it. >> senator paul, if i might respond to that. we just heard in his opening statement ranking member burr spoke about his staff who went to israel. if you look at the data from israel, the boost, the third
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shot boost, and the fourth shot boost was associated with a clear cut clinical effect. mostly in elderly people. also as they gather more data, even in people in the 40s and the 50s. there is clinical data -- >> but not in children? here's the thing, you're not willing to be honest with american people. for example, 75% of kids have had the disease. why is the cdc not including this in the data. you could ask the question. you could do laboratory test to find out who has had it, who has not had the disease. what is the incidents of hospitalization and death for children who have been infected with covid subsequently going to the hospital or dying? what is the possibility if your kid has had covid, which is 75% of the country's had covid. what is the chance my child is going to the hospital or dying? >> if you look at the number of deaths in pediatrics, senator, you can see that there are more
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deaths of -- >> of people who have had it. >> of pediatric -- >> of people who had the disease. >> senator, we also know from other studies that the optimal degree of protection, when you get infection, is to get a vaccinated after infection. in fact, showing reinfection in the era of omicron and the sub lineages that vaccination -- >> you can't access to the question i asked. the question i asked, how many kids are dying, how many kids are going to the hospital who have already had covid? the answer may be zero. but you're not even giving us the data. you have so much wanted to protect everybody from all the data. we are not smart enough to look at the data. when you release data earlier, when the cdc released the data, they left out the category of 18 to 49 on whether or not there is a health benefit for adults 18 to 49. why was it left out? when critics finally complained, it was finally included. because there was no health benefit from taking a booster between the 18 to 49 in the cdc
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study. another question for you. the nih continues to refuse to voluntarily divulge the names of scientists who receive royalties and from which countries. over the period of time from 2010 and 2000 to 16, 27,000 royalty payments were paid to 18 100 and i aged and ploys. we know that, not because you told us, but because we forced you to tell us through the freedom of information act. over 100 and $93 million was given to these 18 employees 1800 employees. can you tell me that you have not received a royalty from any antibody that you ever oversaw the distribution of money in research grants? >> first of all, let's talk about -- >> that's the question, no, that's the question. have you ever received a royalty payment from a company that you later oversaw money going to that company. >> you know, i don't know as a
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fact. i doubt it. >> here's the thing, why don't you let us know. why don't you -- how much you've gotten them with remote entities. the nih refuses, we asked them, we asked them, the nih, we asked them whether or not who got it and how much. they refused to tell us. they sent it redacted. here's what i want to know, it's not just about you, everybody on the vaccine committee, have any of them ever receive money from the people who make vaccines? can you tell me that? can you tell me if anyone on the vaccine approval committee ever received any money -- >> soundbite, number one, you have to let me ask you a question. okay, let me give you some information. first of all, according to the regulations, people who have received royalties are not required to divulge them even on their financial statements. according to the buy dole act. let me give you some example. from 2015, to 2020, the only
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royalties i have was my lab and i made an monoclonal antibody for use in vitro re-agent that had nothing to do with patience. during that period of time, my royalties range from $21 a year to 17 $700 a year. the average per year was $191.46. >> it's all redacted. you can't get any information -- >> senator paul, your time is up. >> we want to know whether people got money from people -- senator paul your, time is long over expired. i gave you additional to a half minutes. the witness has responded. we are going to move on. senator sanders. >> thank you all very much for being here. liu.
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one of the concerns that i have in terms of where we are now and, where we might be in the future. is that the american people do not have ready access to the information they need as to how they can receive the best treatment available for covid. an example. a 60 year old gentlemen wakes up in the morning. he has bad symptoms, test positive for covid. i worry that that person, millions of them, might not even know that there are therapeutics out there that can help them. that they may have five days. only five days or to take it within the first five days of symptoms. can you tell us, doctor, what we can do to make it easier for people to get the therapeutics
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that they need? >> thank you, senator sanders. this is key in terms of are distributing and distributing not only our therapeutics, but in fact even before therapeutics. communities and at risk people need to understand to do a test. that's the gateway into getting these therapeutics. we need to have testing available, accessible, a lot of what the -- distributing home test. we need to have therapeutics available in at risk communities across the country. and then we need to do public health campaigns. so people understand that the test should be done and that they have access to these therapeutics. >> the concern is, in some of them, at, least you should take the drug within at least five days. are you confident that we have a system, someone's going to wake up, they're going to get prescription from a doctor. do they have a doctor that they can get a prescription from within the first few days? do they know where to get the
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drug. do they have the money to pay for that drone? >> the drugs are free. the tests are free. i'm not sure that everybody knows that. we have expanded our role of inaccessibility a paxlovid. i will also say that just like early in our vaccine work, we have seen an equities and how that paxlovid has been years. we'll have more data forthcoming from the cdc soon on that. we have a lot of work to do in the equitable distribution of paxlovid. and to getting the education to the communities to community health centers. to physicians in rural areas. >> should our goal be, it seems to be to make it nice and simple, if somebody is feeling, if somebody has covid they can dial a one 800 number and get the drug as quickly as possible. is that the goal that were striving for? >> yes, we need to do that under the eua, and with the caveat that there are some things like renal insufficiency or drug interaction that need to be assessed. we need to make sure that those assessments are complete as well. >> i want to change course a
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little bit here. . we have a significant shortage of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, other health care providers. and that shortage has only been exacerbated as a result of burnout related to covid. i know that's not necessarily within your jurisdiction. you can give us, can you give us some thoughts about how serious that shortage of medical personnel is? and what we might want to do to address it. yes, it's keep, not only medical personnel, but public health personnel. the bowman foundation survey demonstrated that we are about 80,000 public health workers and deficit right now. and that we need to not only retain the ones who have stepped up to the plate during the covid-19 pandemic. but we need to foster an invest in future public health workers as well as other care workers.
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and that includes lower payments, it includes investing in the time and making sure that we are competitive from a salary standpoint. so that we can retain the best of the best in these fields. >> let me ask dr. a question. senator paul raised an issue about money and so forth. i look at it, his questions are valid, i look at it slightly differently. i am concerned, correct me if i'm wrong here, moderna, who helped create one of the important vaccines that are saving lives received, as i recall, about two and a half billion dollars during the trump administration. my understanding, correct me if i am wrong, is that the gentleman who is the head, was the head, of moderna recently received a golden parachute of some hunt $800 million. two and a half billion, a federal funding to develop the drug, moderna makes use amount of money. this guy receives 800 million
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in golden parachute. am i right about that? >> i am not aware of that. it's not something i'd keep up articulate in this job. >> not something you keep up with? >> your head of the food and drug administration. he would not be concerned that a guy we are producing, trying to get vaccines out to people, i'm corrected, it's a 926 million dollar golden parachute. if that's true, if the federal government is a company, two and a half a billion dollars in short time later the head of the company gets a 900 million dollar golden parachute, that is not a concern to you? >> i don't say it was not a concern. i said it's not something that i keep up with in daily life. when i'm very concerned about is equitable distribution of vaccines that save lives and antivirals. we are not reaching the goals that we need.
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>> maybe, you know, i think we need, i would hope everybody agrees, that we need the financial resources to make sure that everybody has the vaccines. if one guy ends up with $900 million rather than using that money to get out the medicine we need, vaccines we need, out to the people, it doesn't make a lot of sense to me. thank you very much, that. after >> senator romney? >> thank you, madam chair. senator sanders, i'm one of those that doesn't understand why golden parachutes are provided by boards ever. it does not make sense to me to pay someone to leave a ton of money. not that you change the law. i'm just saying, i can't figure out why aboard would do such a thing. worth looking into. i appreciate the work that each of you do. and the effort that you make to help our, the people of our country have healthier lives. and have long lives. i realize that science is not
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all knowing. from time to time, there are mistakes, that is the nature of humankind. i appreciate very much the work that you do. i want to express my appreciation personally for that. i do have an issue that is tangentially related to what you do. related to the administration which are part of. that is that back in march, ian and other members of the committee sent a letter to the administration asking for an accounting of how the prior covid relief money had been spent. and then also how new money that was being requested for emergency supplemental would be spent. as part of that response, that letter, the administration released a statement regarding the lack of potential funding for going forward. i want to read a couple of excerpts from that letter. one is, quote, the federal government is unable to
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purchase additional lifesaving monoclonal antibody treatments. and will run out of supply to states as soon as late may. the federal government cannot purchase sufficient while quantities of treatment for immunocompromised individuals. the federal government will be unable to sustain the testing capacity that spilled of a last 14 months. continuing, and in the purchase of adam -- stanley back state and territorial allocations, inability to purchase additional oral anti viral pills, inability to purchase new antivirals, scaling back planned purchase a preventative treatment. again, with the administration provided to us and congress, in response to our letter was that the administration would be unable to purchase therapeutics and monoclonal antibodies. unable to purchase. madam chair, i ask unanimous consent that this release for the administration be entered into the record. >> without objection. >> in good faith, high number
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of other people worked over a number of months with members of this party and across the aisle to develop a supplemental bill providing the ten billion dollars to address this inability to purchase these things without the ten billion dollars. you can imagine my surprise when i find out that on june 8th, the federal government did in fact prioritize five billion dollars for the purchase of additional vaccines. 4.9 billion for therapeutics. and 300 million for additional monoclonal antibodies. it chose not to do so in february, march, april or may. again saying they had inability to do so. the administration has recklessly and unilaterally spend taxpayers money. we've runaway inflation. instead of taking a real inventory of funds they had at their disposal, they said, hey, we need more money. washington operates on a relationship of trust between
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the respective parties. the administration and congress. for the administration to provide information to us that was false is something which dramatically attacks that trust which i have, members of my party have members of both parties have. i hope that there is an appreciation that for the administration to say that they could not purchase these things. after several months, divert some funds and then purchased them is unacceptable. and makes our ability to work together and have confidence in what we're being told very much shake into the core. i would ask this question. if the administration knew in march that it was feasible to buy these things, do you know why they waited to actually do so? any one of you can respond. doctor fauci, you are on the hot seat on the camera, we will give it to you. i hope you feel better, by the way. [laughs] >> thank you very much, senator. i think that question is probably best given to
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assistant secretary -- >> thank you, doctor fauci. thank you senator romney. thank you for support in trying to get additional funds freed for us to manage the covid response. >> i didn't realize they were needed. i wouldn't have worked as hard with leader schumer with others over many weeks and intensive negotiations. my colleagues, told him the money was necessary, had i been told that in fact they were necessary. i know money is, you're going to tell me, hey, we need to spend money. we had to divert. it that we could have been told. we were not told that. we were told, we could not purchase therapeutics or monoclonal antibodies. and now you have. >> we had to do so a significant trade-offs. trade-offs that none of us wanted to make. -- >> were part of congress. when you're asking us for ten billion dollars, we should be appraise about those trade-offs are. and have that discussion.
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and help make that decision together. you shouldn't be able to say, hey, we're looking at trade-offs. we're not going to tell you about them. just give us some more money. isn't that unacceptable in a relationship between an administration and congress? >> we worked hard to be transparent with our finding needs. again, if, appreciated this report you've given us and trying to unlock additional funds. making the decision to spend this money, taking away from critical programs is absolutely difficult. it's something we didn't think was acceptable. we are now at a point, congress has not given us additional funding. we've had to do these things that are -- >> my time is up, we agreed on one word, that is unacceptable. >> senator lujan. >> as new mexico continues to battle the pandemic, we are also battling the largest wildfires the state has ever seen. wildfires that were started as
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a controlled burn by the federal government. and two fires that got out of control. well i very much respect that people keep -- 99.8 could present of controlled burns are under control. i'm more interested in the 0.2% that destroyed our state. these duel crisis have stretch the resources of the state to the breaking point. as new mexicans flee natural disasters, many cases, taking only the belongings they can carry, they faced increased exposure to covid-19 virus. which has run rampant in the congregate settings being used to house evacuees. assistant secretary o'connell, how are you coordinating to support new mexico's covid-19 response in light of the wildfires? >> thank you, senator lujan, we continue to keep the people of new mexico who are currently experiencing these tragedies in our minds. the secretary on may 9th, realizing the extent of what
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was happening and new mexico declared a public health emergency. that public health emergency freed up flexibility for the health care system there. an order to respond in the emergent condition. including providing telehealth for medicare beneficiaries, freezing the medicaid rules, so no one would be, would lose insurance during this time of tragedy. at aspr, we continue to support through our hospital preparedness program, new mexico's coalition, a health care coalition is responsible for evacuating many of the hospitals in long-term care facilities, nursing homes, we continue to work closely with our colleagues there. to make sure that everyone is safe and accounted for. we also run the medical reserve corps and the medical reserve corps in new mexico's have been activated to respond to the wildfires. so we continue to support our colleagues out there through that effort. we've been in close contact with fema, we've offered virtual support to fema new mexico.
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wherever we can be helpful, we are trying to be. we've not stopped our covid response. we're continuing to make vaccines and their projects and tests available to those in new mexico that need them. >> assistant secretary o'connell, this is a follow-up to the solid answer with programs that been made available. the follow-up is, how is hhs ensuring that these resources are being communicated to those impacted. especially given the current lack of broadband service and many regions of the state. which is non existent in these communities. >> thank you, we continue to have boots on the ground in new mexico. we have got regional emergency coordinators in the state that continue to communicate with city and local leaders. we also have our cms representatives who are making sure that the medicare and medicaid provisions are being well communicated to those beneficiaries. and everything we can and, we've got several regional representatives leading this effort in new mexico.
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i continue to rely on their ability to communicate on the ground. >> i said earlier that many families were forced to evacuate. they really in congregate settings. they were not eligible for the vote covid-19 vaccine. dr. walensky, will you commit to reconsidering cdc guidelines for the fourth covid-19 shot to account for the risks of people fleeing from natural disasters who are forced into compact living conditions? >> thank you, senator lujan. let me add my support and strength of the people of new mexico who are experiencing these natural disasters. maybe if i could just back up and let you know some of the things that cdc has been doing in including drafting recommendations and documents like wildfire smoke and covid-19 public health strategies to reduce exposure to wildfire smoke during the covid-19 pandemic. going to a public health,
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public disaster shelter during covid-19. we have documents, we're providing technical assistance on the ground as well as public health communication, exposure assessment, and epidemiological data in order to support the efforts ongoing there. we've been working in a national center for environmental health over the last decade to support health apartments to prepare for respond to and recover from wildfire disasters. specifically to your question about booster shots for this population, cdc is committed to continuously reviewing the data on the safety and efficacy and the need for booster shots. we do so all the time. we strengthen our recommendation for those, four for her shot for those over the age of 50. and should we see a need, safety, efficacy, we will continue to expand. we certainly want to follow the data as we do so. >> i appreciate that, dr. walensky. my tire time has expired, i saw the couple questions i will submit into the record. i'm hoping that's a long way of saying yes definitively to
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making these changes. not all of us are over 50. there were a lot, i just turned 50, i can say that. there are a lot of young families and children and grandchildren who are in the settings, above the age of five, where we had them all in one place. when we would gets scares a spread, or those who have tested positive, it's a perfect place to help provide additional support. in a community where it's hard to get to. we don't always have the availability. this is an area that i will continue to push. i am hopeful that we can find a positive remedy. here new mexico is not going to be the only state facing natural disasters. we are in that season right now. i'm hopeful that someone used a positive direction and how we can -- madam chair, -- >> senator cassidy? >> thank you all for being here. thank you for your efforts on our part of our country. of course, what we're hearing is that there has to be more money appropriated in dire consequences if not allocated. that begs the question of the
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stewardship of the current dollars being allocated. now, so, i personally think, i think others agree, physically showing up to work is important. miss o'connell, how many days a last month where you physically in your office? >> the vast majority of those days. >> can you give me a number. and it's so frustrating, i've never been able to get a straight answer from one of you. as to how many days you are in the office and what is the return to work policy. just give me, how many days this past week? it's fine, how many how many days this last week? >> hhs has continued its return to work starting in april. we're bringing everybody back. >> how many days have you personally been in your office this last week? >> multiple days. >> this is not hard to remember. it's only five days. if you dissemble it makes me
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think you've not been in the office and you don't wanna give me a straight answer. speaking on behalf of the american people who are paying taxes. a lot of salaries. they think people aren't showing up to work. how many days in the last five were you physically in your office? >> -- >> doctor caleb, how many days and last fiber you physically in your office. >> at 2:18 year olds that you met i might -- >> then a week ago. give me five days, when it wasn't a family issue, can the previous week. every day when i've been in washington it, i go into the office. >> i get that. every day that you are in washington does not mean that you are here. are you either doing business travel on part of fda, if not, your physically in your office? >> yes, except for family events like --
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>> dr. walensky, how many days in the last five or you physically in your office. >> so, i'm not in my office today but i feel like -- >> not feel -- like >> i've been working insight i've. been traveling so i've been on my office. >> in the last month, do you typically work out of washington or your home in the northeast? >> we are an agency at cdc -- on the job work. in fact, some of our work is in your state. >> i get that, let me read something from elon musk, who is asking tesla workers to go back to 40 days a week. the more of his senior you, are the more visible you must be. that's why i lived in the factory because companies that don't do, this one of the last time you shipped a great product? you don't ship great product by phoning it in. there is a perception that your agencies are underperforming. now, if you're underperforming
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and you're not showing up that is not good stewardship. let me ask, because i understand hhs has a policy that is allowing everyone to come back before two weeks. do any of you have a policy in your agency which is different than this pilot program of only requesting eight hours in the office every two weeks? miss o'connell, yes or no? >> we require more than that in the office. thank you. >> mr. califf, doctor califf? >> we have a pilot program which is just every individual with the working situation, for them to be productive. >> that tells me it's up to the individual to decide. >> it's up to the individual, their supervisor and -- >> in your laboratories, laboratories, does every laboratory workers show up every day physically? in a laboratory you've got to be. there >>, well senator cassidy, were both doctors.
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everyone who has a job to do in the laboratory that requires them to be there is there every day. but you also know that when you analyze data -- >> yeah, analyzed that. when have a lab, take the lab tech has to be. there >> absolutely. >> so, is the lab check there every day? >> yes. >> i'm sorry to be insistent but it's hard to get an answer. dr. walensky? >> yet, the people who need to be in our labs need are working in our labs. >> are they working full-time, 40 hours a week? >> when i have a data need at midnight on a saturday night, people are working. they're not necessarily in the workplace but they're working -- >> as a lab employee is only productive if they're working in a lab. are they working 40 hours a week? >> people who need to be on site in the lab are in the lab, people were deployed in the field are working outside the workplace. >> i've got 18,000 employees and i can't believe that they're all deployed. you, know i'm going to finish with this. you're asking for more money and, miss o'connell, you suggested that there is tough trade-offs to be made.
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by golly, if you don't give us money, something is going to be sacrificed. i suspect you have laid off a single person. i also know you have the ability to monitor the at-home work history as to whether or not they're actually walking on. i'd be interested in seeing that data. but you've got maintenance people that have been employed for two and a half years and i suspect they have been laid off. but you're asking for more taxpayer dollars, asking tough choices for that family at home trying to make their balance work. it seems as if there is not a tight ship being run. i'm, over i apologize, i yield. >> senator hassan? >> thank you, madam chair and ranking member byrd for this hearing. thank you to all our witnesses today for being here and for your service. doctor califf, i want to start with a question to you about the infant formula shortage. i want to follow up on comments that you made at the start of today's hearing. when you testified in front of this committee three weeks ago
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you told me that in two months we should be, quote, beyond normal and with a pretoria, close quote, of infant formula. then, as chair mary noted, abbott noted last night that its formula production plant in sturgis, michigan, had flooded. which will, quote, likely prevent production and distribution of new product for a few weeks, close quote. despite that setback, as i understood your answer to chair marie earlier, you still hope to have a, quote, super supply, close quote, of baby formula on shelves in the next 2 to 3 weeks. which i take to mean more formula available than was typical prior to the sturgis plant shutting down. so, is that correct and, if so, how do you expect to achieve that goal with abbott saying that the stage of plant will remain shut down for another few weeks? >> yes, that is correct with a few assumptions. one is that the company sticks to the production data that they've given, as which they've already demonstrated they can do. the other is there is no other natural disaster like the
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unexpected one last night. but we have -- one thing that's happened is we now get production data from all the companies involved. it adds up to a surplus demonstrated by the need of the number of babies using formula over the last several years. so, we should be over that number easily. and that doesn't count the fly formula, the formula coming in. >> so, what you're indicating to me is that other producers have been increasing their production? >> absolutely. all the manufacturers in the u.s., remember, there is only four, which is another issue. they've all stepped up and are running their plants 24 by seven. and the numbers show it. >> okay, so, during the last hearing you indicated that it inter agency committee has developed a comprehensive plan to get this super supply on the shelves. will you provide that written comprehensive plan to my office after this hearing? >> we will provide our plan,
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yes. >> thank you. once we've looked at the plan, we may want to follow up with you all for a briefing. that works for you? okay. second question is to doctor fauci and assistant secretary o'connell. dr. fauci, for nearly two years, i've been asking you when a covid-19 vaccine for children under age five would be ready. they are now nearly there. while vaccines have been available for older individuals for quite some time, the infant and toddler vaccine has been much slower, leaving many families with young children in a precarious position as they try to keep their kids safe. do you anticipate that children ages six months to five years will be able to get their first dose by the end of this month? >> well, again, senator, thank you for that question. but i do not want to get ahead of the advisory committee. you heard from my opening statement and that of
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commissioner califf that, in fact, the verb pack, the advisory committee to the fda, made a recommendation, a positive recommendation, for an emergency authorization. the next step would be the cdc, in which doctor walensky's advisory committee will likely, likely, i'm sure they, we'll look at the data and make a recommendation. and then, at the end of the, day it will be the director of the cdc's obligation and duty to make a recommendation. so, i hope it does but we never want to get ahead of the data. the data looked very, very good, senator. as you heard from commissioner califf, the data looked really quite good. so, i anticipate that that's going to happen but it would not be appropriate for me to get ahead of my cdc colleagues. >> got it. briefly, dr. walensky, what does the timeline look like for that review? >> we are going to review
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tomorrow and working on saturday as well, because we understand the urgency of this for american parents and recognize, that even on a holiday weekend, we need to be doing this to get a true american parents. >> right. and assistant secretary o'connell, how will the administration work to educate parents on the safety of this vaccine and help as many families as possible we get the youngest children vaccinated? >> absolutely. so, assuming that the decisions come through as we may expect, the approval and recommendation, we have made available 10 million doses for states to order and the vast majority of them have placed those orders. that will allow us to ship it as soon of an eua, should it come, comes. with the expectation that parents can begin getting their children vaccinated next week. so, that is our intention. >> thank you very much, thank you, chair marie. >> senator collins? >> thank you. doctor califf, we know that the baby formula crisis was exacerbated by the fact that people weren't working in the
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mail room and that inspectors were not working a normal schedule and the baby formula plants. in response to a question from dr. cassidy, you referred to a return to work pilot program. how many fta employees are part of that pilot program? as opposed to working full-time right now in the office or in the field? >> of course, as you alluded to, they're all working full-time. we'll have to get back to you on the exact number. but a majority are in the pilot program and one way or another. the goes to adjust to the maximum productivity and job satisfaction. >> but they can't do their work if they're not present. >> well, if it's a job where they'll do that work best if they are present, they are
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required to be there. >> well, i'd really appreciate getting the data on that. >> i look for the bringing the data to, you i think it will be interesting. i'll just, say i was a google before this. as opposed to elon musk, i think google is doing pretty well with their hybrid program. >> let me switch to another issue. i'm very alarmed by the response that i heard to senator sanders's question. where he said that you should be able to just dial one 800 to get a prescription. the administration has pushed very hard on the test and treat program, so that you test positive and you get paxlovid right off. here is why i'm concerned. the first is that paxlovid interacts in a negative way with a lot of commonly taken medications.
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including blood thinners, for example. second, just on tuesday, pfizer announced it was halting enrollment in a trial for paxlovid in standard risk patients, both vaccinated and vaccinated. after it study revealed that the treatment was not effective in reducing symptoms in that group. so, what we've heard today, and what the administration seems to be pushing, is this notion that paxlovid is going to be the answer if you have a positive covid test. do you really think calling one 800 is a good way to handle the prescription of a drug that's been found to not be effective for standard risk patients? and has interactions with a lot
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of medications? >> thank you for asking that question. the place i agree with senator sanders is that we have a vastly inequitable distribution of lifesaving vaccines and antivirals now. particularly, i know you're from a predominantly rural state, particularly rural people are suffering because they have lower vaccination rates and less access. i don't agree that an individual just calling one 800 number with no clinician involved is a good idea. first of all, because the drug is not indicated accepted people who are at high-risk. it's not that is totally ineffective in lower, risk if you look at that data, i'd love to go over those with you later. but it's not worth prescription in that case, the benefits are minimal. so, i think there does have to be an intermediary. either a pharmacist or a physician, who can look at the
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drug risks and interactions and make a judgment. but the concept is right. that having to find a physician, get an appointment, can take only five days for many americans. so, we have to have a system that deals with that issue. but >> dr. walensky, david lienhart recently wrote in the new york times that, while masks can work, the evidence suggests that broad mask mandates have not done much to reduce covid case loads over the past two years. in fact, he says that daily average cases per capita during last winter surge were practically the same in counties and states that had mask mandates and those that did not. we've seen that hong kong, despite almost universal mask wearing recently, endured one of the worst covid outbreaks.
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there are proven ways to lower hospitalizations and deaths, we know that. vaccinations, they're a pew dick's. but mask mandates have contributed to a breakdown of trust in public health officials, given the scant evidence that they actually lower case loads. what's specific data has the cdc examined that demonstrate that broadbased mask mandates lead to lower case loads? because i can't find any. >> thank you, senator collins. i actually believe that that is a piece that has undergone substantial criticism for moving forward. but i will say that there are numerous studies that have demonstrated, we have to look at this over time because our secular trends as to how these mask mandates have occurred, there's population aggregated anonymize data that have demonstrated decreased rates of disease when matt mandates have
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been put in place earlier in the pandemic. we have to control for all of the things as to what has been opened, would interventions have been available. but there have been other studies for certain, to refute that data. thank you. >> senator smith? >> thank you very much, chair mary. and thanks to all our panelists for being here today. i'm going to focus my questions on questions of data and data sharing, and how that reflects our ability to respond to the pandemic. but i just want to, before i do that, i want to reinforce the comments that chair murray made at the beginning of this hearing, that we are making progress on the pandemic. and we are in a much better position than we have been. but it is essential that we have sustained resources, so that we are ready as we look to whatever comes next with the this pandemic. so, i just want to associate myself with chair marion urging my colleagues to support the funding that we need so that our covid response can continue.
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i appreciate very much my colleagues, senator cassidy and senator collins, and their work on accountability. but i just want to ask you all a simple yes or no question. has the work of your agency been hampered in any way by people not being in their office, can you just say yes or no? >> no. >> no. >> no. >> dr. fauci? >> no. >> thank you very much. dr. walensky, i want to bring up something that you and i have talked about. it has to do with resolving the issues around sharing public health data with tribes. this is a challenge that i think we both are aware of and have been talking about. for folks who are paying close attention to this, tribal epidemiology centers were created by congress as an essential public health authority in indian country. since the beginning of the pandemic, they face real challenges accessing public health data through the cdc. i've introduced a bill to
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resolve this issue, i'm grateful for the work of my colleagues as well on this, especially senator lujan. dr. walensky, as you know, the g.a.o. has issued a report outlining recommendations to resolve the issues. i would just appreciate knowing, i know you appreciate the challenges of this, can you commit to working with us to make sure that those g.a.o. recommendations for the cdc report back on that with an august 1st 2022. can you please commit to us on following through on those recommendations? >> thank you, senator smith. i've appreciated the conversations i've had with you as well. we are working with our tribal epidemiology consortium and, center consortium, and meeting with this month as well as through the summer. meeting with the tribes as to how best to do data sharing. we are aware of the geo report and that we have two specific items to address. we are on track to provide timely response to those.
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i do want to just comment that this is not just a data issue with tribes, but a larger data issue at hand. the cdc does not have the authority to request, receive, share data in a way that gives us a comprehensive overview. not only through cdc and a national forecast, but two tribes, to localities, from one county to another. we do not have the authority to do so. we've gotten some of that through the public health emergency, through the cares act where we were able to receive lab data, through cms authorities where we were able to receive hospital data. but it's been really challenging during this pandemic that we still have holes and the data that we're able to receive. and now, as we look to monkeypox in the outbreaks of monkeypox, we are again revisiting the challenges that we are not able to see all of the data that would be necessary to receive and share, so that we can have a coherent response. thank you. >> dr. walensky, you have anticipated my next question. so, i appreciate that, i want to get that in a minute.
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just to close out on the tribal data sharing, i would just ask that we stay in close touch on this as we approach january -- sorry, august 31st. so that we can resolve this and those tribal epidemiology centers can have access to the data that they're legally required to have. working more broadly, i'm aware that the cdc does have challenges with data and i just want to try to help to tease us out a little bit in the few seconds that i have left. for example, does the cdc have the authority to require hospitals to report their covid data? and, if they do, if that authority permanent or is it temporary? >> it's temporary through the public health emergency. it's not the cdc, its through cms. >> have hospitals been reporting that data? do we have all the data that we need at this moment? >> we do not, we receive the data that ems has the authority to request but we don't receive all the data that we would like to request. >> i just lightweight dollars
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that senator cain has a bill which i cosponsored, the improving data in public health. which would make that crucial improvements that i have come to understand we really need to make, to strengthen data sharing between public health authorities and the cdc and the federal government more broadly. then, to make sure the status sharing is and temporary but that is permanent, so that we can continue to be responsive at the federal level and have the data so that we all can make good decisions about how best to respond to the public health challenges that we will continue to have. >> and we are very grateful for your support and senator cain, on that bill, thank you very much. >> so, i would try to work with my colleagues and senator cain on that as well. thank you very much. >> senator braun? >> thank, you madam chair. dr. walensky, it was about a month ago, in an appropriations hearing, i asked dr. fauci about lockdowns. it was based upon the johns hopkins daddy that said that tactic, basically, was neutral on mortality.
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i don't think it got into, maybe, what mortality might have been caused due to the fact that we are locked down and other areas. but would you agree with doctor fauci on that, that we probably won't ever need to use lockdowns again on covid? as we currently know it. >> i certainly hope, not senator braun. i know that hopkins study had some flooding there have been other studies that refuted that. we'd be happy to get you more details on that. certainly, we're doing everything in our power to prevent that from happening. but covid has sent us numerous curveballs, so i will never say never. >> i might also add that, in everything i observed, keeping in touch with the business community who took it pretty seriously, they did not think the transmission was occurring at work. it was mostly elsewhere, and locking those businesses down of course, i think we're dealing with those consequences currently. another question, when it comes to vaccine mandates, supreme
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court finally weighed in and said that did not make sense. when we are going to try to force businesses down to 100 employees to either have their employees get a vaccine or lose their job. that seemed like the ultimate heavy hand of government. would you ever recommend doing that again? because the administration seemed to err on the side of vaccine mandates and lockdowns, which they talked about earlier. >> so, vaccine mandates are generally a local decision. what i will say, is we as cdc are for promoting more people to get vaccinated. because we are vaccinated and boosted have decreased risk of severe disease and death. so, generally, we would support getting more people vaccinated. >> i'd like to cite the fact that the administration has forced through all federal employees. and i believe that initiation of what would've been the biggest mandate for getting vaccinated came from the biden
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administration. so, through an executive order. i agree with you that local prerogative should come into play, but this was not that. do you care to comment further on that? >> cdc stands at the more people vaccinated and boosted the decreased risk of severe outcomes and deaths. >> so, we've now gone a couple years, we've learned a lot. i think the data has shown that this has ravaged, in a disproportionate way, the elderly with comorbidities. i like your assessment, going forward, with the general dynamic of what we know about covid. does it make sense that we protect better where the data has shown that we've had the most issues with? also, parallel this, to the
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flu. i know it's more transmissible, but the flu generally has a broader fatality rate. and here, but senator paul talked about it a little earlier, we know that it has really hit one category very hard. do you think we're protecting them well enough? and do you think it makes sense to take the broad approaches for so much of the country that was either asymptomatic or had mild symptoms? >> i think we need to do both. certainly, our elder community has been among those that have been the highest at risk, highest risk of severe disease and death. but i will also say that covid is one of the top leading killers of children right now. deaths among children during the covid pandemic have been higher than we generally see, from covid, have been higher than we've seen for flu. so, i actually think we need to protect young children, as well as protect everyone with the vaccine. and especially protect elders. i will say that we have
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recently endorsed and recommended boosters for all those over the age of 50. a second booster for all those over the age of 50, and we will have forthcoming data later this week that will demonstrate, compared to a third booster, that those over the age of 50 you have gotten a fourth have a seven full decreased risk of death. so, we are actually doing both of those simultaneously, i think that's where we need to be doing. >> thank you. finally, for dr. fauci. we read this week, after 675 years, we finally found the origins of the black played. kara to give us an update on where we're at a tracking down the origins of covid-19? >> thank you for that question, senator. there have been a number of papers that have come out from highly qualified virologists and viral -- that indicate that this is very, very likely a jumping species
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from an animal host. perhaps through an intermediate host, intuition human species, which then spread throughout the human population. certainly, almost certainly, originating in china, in wuhan. we continue to open up and keep an open mind as to whether or not this had to do with a virus that was isolated out in the environment and that came into a lab and then had what most people referred to as a lab leak. i believe that is less likely that that's the case. but i also believe we need to keep an open mind and had all possibilities be investigated. but the evidence from the virus-ology community points strongly towards a natural occurrence. >> very quickly. do you think the chinese will cooperate with you to try to get to the thorough bottom of it? >> senator, i certainly hope so. because we're not going to get
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an answerat's a definitive answer even if they do cooperate. we may not do, that but certainly, for example, if we wanted to continue surveillance among on that populations and other wild animals that may serve as an intermediate host, as well as understanding what was going on at some of their laboratories, i believe it is essential to have a cooperation and collaboration with the chinese. >> thank you. senator hickenlooper? >> thank, you madam chair. i want to first thank all of, you again, you've been here repeatedly. i often wonder, watching, these the back and forth of these hearings, what message it sends to young people deciding whether they want to get into public service. it doesn't always look pleasant, but i appreciate your maintenance of good spirits as you go through, obviously, a difficult but important discussion.
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doctor califf, i want to look a little more forward just because i am worried about the future, equally as much as trying to review the stakes we've made in the past. the unprecedented covid-19 clinical trial landscape has allowed for timely availability of vaccines and therapies that have been essential to fighting this pandemic. in this increasingly global world, we but can and have to work closely with our allied partners to advance scientific and research efforts. my question to you is, should we be thinking about multi regional clinical trials as a way to expand volume and scope of clinical trial data? and, if so, how do we get there? i know we've talked about it before, i just keep coming back to this well. >> thanks for giving me a chance to talk about my favorite, think that's what i've done for a living my entire career, multi original trials and cardiovascular
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disease. that's what we need to do. we're all very focused on diversity in clinical trials within the united states, but we're only 4% of the world's population. so, if we really believe, that we need to be doing trials that are relevant to the populations all over the world. i will point out again, as dr. walensky pointed out, we have a fragmented system in the u.s.. so, yes, we depend on israel for data. the fourth dose decision by the fda was made based on israeli data. in many cases, we depend on the uk for clinical trial results that are critical to us. all the technology and prowess we have in this country, we've got to do better. it's going to be a focus. the cdc needs to have the authority to get the data needs, so that we can be as good as the israelis and producing, just in time, data that's needed. >> yeah, when i was a kid, marshall mcclelland wrote a book. one of the key elements was information is power. i think that's more true today
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than ever. doctor fauci, many of us here have been beating the drum loudly on pandemic preparedness and pandemic prevention. i think it's imperative that we make investments today that will help us better understand and prepare for viruses. we watch some of the discussion on this. the president put out a pandemic preparedness plan and requested a five-year funding request to congress to truly stay ahead of the curve. what progress do you think we blasted the ability of congress to significantly invested in pandemic preparedness and pandemic prevention? thank you for that question. the pandemic preparedness involves multiple buckets. basic clinical and translational science to develop the products such as the vaccines and the antivirals that have helped us so dramatically during the current outbreak.
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as well as a number of public health issues involving, for example, the cdc, fda, bomb or, as britain and others. when you look at what has not been available from the standpoint of resources. we have a pandemic preparedness plan that is based on what we call the prototype pathogen approach. which was to look at various, families of viruses particularly. to develop commonalities among them so we will be able in the next challenge with an emerging microbe. mostly likely a virus that will have enough experience that will be able to do it. in the timeframe that we get with coronavirus. as you know, it was 65 days from the recognition of the virus to a phase one trial. >> right, let me interrupt you. running out of time here. the real question, how much do we lose by delaying the
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appropriate investments to complete that preparedness? >> you lose significant amounts. every time you pull back on resources, the pace and the cadence of the work slows down. sometimes you can't even start a new project. the projects that are ongoing, if you don't get the resources to fully implement them, you will delay the development of interventions. >> or have to take money from one another poll that gets sidelined something else. i follow that. i'm out of time. i yield back to the chair. again, i want to thank each of you for the public service. i realize science is not perfect. it is not binary. you have difficult, complicated jobs. i am grateful. >> thank you, senator marshall. >> thank you, madam chair. just yesterday we learned that in the month of may our border patrol encountered an unprecedented 239,000 migrants
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at the southern border. the highest monthly total in the history. and now thanks to our inhumane open border policies, every state is now a border state. and my home state of kansas, a person dies almost every day from fentanyl poisoning. nationwide, over 200 people are dying daily from fentanyl. the numbers on the rise. this is now an epidemic. just last week in kansas city, authorities received 30,000 counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl. cher murray, in your state of washington, five people are dying per day from drug overdose. ranking member burr, in your state, nine north carolina's are dying every day from drug overdose. i don't have to remind people in this committee, our panel, the fentanyl precursors are made in china. and then the chinese work with the cartels to process it its to a lethal fentanyl. often lacing other opioids, marijuana, meth, adderall, xanax, amongst others.
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all across the nation, counterfeit moxie code on pills like the ones behind me are now laced with fentanyl. unfortunately, just one pill can kill. in the case of one young student in kansas, it only took half of a pay percocet bill to take his life. doctor walensky, my colleagues senator hadn't even the great state of tennessee has introduced a bill that would expand title 42, expedited removal authority to combat the drug overdose epidemic resulting from drug smuggling across the southern border. dr. walensky, i would like to ask you, yes or, now would you commit to expanding the title 42 authority to turn back migrants to combat this prolific drug smuggling across the u.s. mexico border. in an effort to stop the flow and the epidemic of fentanyl that is killing americans every day? >> thank you. i'd like to back up and say cdc is a public health agency.
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not an immigration agency. the question of title 42 is a public health policy. the question of title 42 that was posed to me is, is there a public health emergency that should bar people from coming into the united states. we now have, as of april 1st, when i commented on this, we now have the tools, the tests, the vaccines. and the therapeutics that are available. our hospitals are not full. everyone, most people in this, room are not wearing a mask. there is no longer a public health emergency -- >> doctor walensky, i appreciate that. i hope you realize that fentanyl poisoning is killing more individuals ages 18 to 45 then covid-19. for the same reasons that you listed, title 42 for covid, why wouldn't you consider instituting it for fentanyl poisoning? would you commit yes or no to tracking this, similarly the way you did for covid? >> to the larger immigration question, i turn things back to
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you in congress to adjust the larger immigration question. as a public health emergency for covid, which is what title 42 is put up to do, there was no longer a neat -- >> you deny there is an epidemic of fentanyl posing across the country? >> i do not. >> thank you, centenary o'connell i have a question. i'm going to submit it for the record for the sake of. time it has to do with, we're going to be giving some 300 million more doses of moderna, more for pfizer. for my understanding the marketplace, they're still sturgis a substantial supply chain challenge for medical products. to ranking member burr's point i hope that the administration can give us a plan to provide the ancillary medical products to support the vaccine administration. we would appreciate some type of a plan in writing. thank you. >> my last question for doctor fauci, doctor fauci, the nih is still find a resource in china. at least some $8 million since 2020. in the intelligent communities,
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2022 annual threat assessment, the chinese communist party is presented as one of the top threats to the united states along with russia, iran, syria, and north korea. to my knowledge, only china is receiving u.s. research dollars. the ccp controls their scientists, controls the release of research results they work on. however, and i age grants policy requires grantees to maintain supporting research records, which they cannot do when those records are under control of the chinese communist party. when were you as director of the niaid, to stop funding research in china? >> thank you for that question, senator marshall. we have at the nih and other agencies in the federal government, have had very productive period reviewed highly regarded research products with our chinese colleagues. that have read some ledger events is and biomedical research. i don't think i'd be able to
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tell you that we are going to stop funding chinese. we obviously need to be careful and make sure that when we do find them we have the proper peer review. and we go through all the established guidelines. i might point out, grants that go to foreign countries, including china, have state department clearance. anytime that we do find anything in china or any other country, that has to go through a clearance with the state department. >> you would not deny that the research done through ecohealth that the records, the studies from there, that we still do not have access to them. is that correct? >> we know, senator marshall, we have access to an extraordinary amount of information. that has gone there. there is a question that people raise where things going on there. that we did not have access to. if you look at the grant, the hundred and 20 230,000 dollar a
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year grant that was given from ecohealth as a sub award in china. to ask a very relevant high priority question. we have received from them published literature with data that shows that they have done what they were given the grant for. obviously, none of us know everything that's going on in china. if the question at hand is the rather small grant pure viewed, high priority grant that was given from eco to china in a sub award, we have a lot of good information that's in -- >> do you have all the information -- >> senator marshall, at this point, we're going to move on. we have three votes that have been called. i'm going to move on to the next person. i am going to turn this, the chair over to senator hickenlooper, while i go vote. this next senator, i will call on as i do that, senator baldwin. senator hickenlooper, thank you
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for coming up to chair. >> thank you, madam chair. i have been encouraged by the work of this committee. those of you on the panel who have helped make more covid-19 treatments available. unfortunately, local health departments in wisconsin have experienced some obstacles when it comes to getting paxlovid to those in the league. dane county public health officials recently contacted my office to raise their concerns about the lack of clear policy guidance. and reimbursement for this critical treatment. miss o'connell, how is asper working with states to ensure that local public health departments have the information that they need to make paxlovid available through the administration test and treatment initiative. how can folks who are uninsured receive treatment?
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what additional resources might the administration need to make treatment available to everyone who needs it? >> thank you so much, senator baldwin. i will take that into parts. first of all, as far as communicating with state public health departments to make sure they know that this treatment is available, and how to access it. we do weekly stakeholder calls. and regular engagement with state health officials. we also know it's on us to be, you know, we need to take responsibility for communicating very clearly. the importance of this therapy. and its availability. we've taken that on in numerous ways with various outreach efforts. we continue to work with states to make sure that their positioning these therapies in places where folks are the most high-risk. that continues to be ongoing pursuit of ours. we continue to work at it. thank you for the feedback on wisconsin. we will reach out and make sure that we have close that loop and they have the information they need. part two of your question is about access for the uninsured.
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one of the impacts of not getting additional supplemental funding is we have had to shut down the uninsured on. the uninsured fund was one of the easiest ways for those without insurance to get coverage during the covid response. to be able, this once in a lifetime pandemic, get the care they need. we continue to make paxlovid even with the uninsured fun. the paxlovid of able for free. pharmacies are not allowed to charge a dispensing fee. those that are uninsured should be able to access it. we understand an important component of receiving paxlovid is also having a health care assessment. we know that comes with a fear. we encourage those that are uninsured to go to the federally qualified health centers which provide these services on a sliding scale and acknowledge whether you're uninsured or not. or to seek care at their public health departments or now these new federally run test retreat sites. this is a challenge.
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it's one that we're continuing to overcome in light of the shutdown of the uninsured fund. >> thank you. i've heard also from state health officials about the declines in vaccination coverage for routine ammunition such as the medals, mumps, rubella. that a vaccine. dr. walensky, how is the cdc working to ensure that any forthcoming recommendation on the covid-19 vaccine for kids gives parents the information that they need to feel confident about getting not just this vaccine, but as well as all other routine immunizations? is there an opportunity to up the rate of vaccination for these other conditions at the same time as your vaccinating kids? >> thank you so much, senator baldwin.
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we recently reported data that demonstrates a decrease of about 1% of all incoming kindergartners are completely vaccinated for all the recommending vaccines. that's 35,000 children across this country who are no longer up to date on all their other vaccines. even before covid. we have a lot of makeup work to do there in addition to what we need to do with covid. as we roll out our pediatric vaccines for children between the ages of six months to five years, in fact, as we continue to enforce the importance of vaccination for our 5 to 18 year olds, we are seeing differences in fact seen confidence and rates of vaccination. we are doing a lot of work in terms of vaccine confidence. putting these vaccines and pediatricians offices and federally qualified health care centers and pharmacies. places where parents trust. where they normally get this information. we are also canvassing and understanding the vaccine confidence around these areas. so we can focus our attention
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in areas where confidence might be lacking. we also, importantly, are starting to see really critical data that shows that much of this confidence is lacking in areas in rural areas. we have about two times the vaccination rate in urban areas compared to rural areas of children. areas we really need to focus on. we are doing as actives as. well. >> thank, you senator casey? >> mister chairman, thank you very much. i want to thank members of the panel for their public service and for being here today. it just, have in the interest of time, everybody's time, i've just got one question for doctor fauci. doctor, i want to wish you a speedy recovery as well as congratulate you on the naming of the science complex at holy cross college in your honor. i wanted to ask you a question about our parents. so many parents across the country right now are unsure about whether to get their kids
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vaccinated. uptake of the vaccine has been relatively low for kids who are already eligible. i'm told that something like under 30% of children ages 5 to 11 are fully vaccinated. so, when the vaccine becomes available for children under five, will need to meet parents where they are. and with the information they need to make informed decisions about the vaccination. so, doctor fauci, can you expand upon how the administration is working with trusted messengers in our society? whether they're physicians or community leaders or others, to get accurate information about the vaccinations to parents? >> thank you for that very important question, senator casey. certainly, now that we have the data, which looks very favorable, we really want to get these children vaccinated. because we know vaccinations prevent infection by, to a greater extent, prevent severe
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disease. as you've heard from a number of us, including and particularly dr. walensky, there are more deaths and serious consequences for covid among children that there are influenza. the department, hhs, has a very comprehensive rollout plan which they have been literally preparing for, now, for several weeks to months in anticipation of if we do, and we did, get favorable results on the clinical trials from moderna and pfizer. that we would be able to get children and parents to understand where these vaccines are available, in pediatrician offices, pharmacies, clinics. so, this is something that the department is taking very seriously. and hopefully they will do a very high uptake of vaccines, because many, parents as we all know, have been waiting sometime now to get their children vaccinated. and hopefully the program that hhs is rolling out will facilitate that.
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thank you. >> doctor, thanks very much. thank, you mister chairman. >> great. senator cain? >> thank, you senator hickenlooper, and thanks to our witnesses. i want to echo comment that i know chair mary made earlier about the importance of more covid funding in a variety of ways we. thankfully, we are seeing hospitalizations come down dramatically in virginia. there's about 4000 a day january, 500 a day now, that is very positive. i'm looking at hospitalization and death data a lot more intensely than the case data, because i think cases continue to be high but the, because transmissibility is high, but the severity is dropping. which is what we would want. but i think we do need more funding to deal with covid, issues especially for your low income people. i would also say that vaccine a policy around the world has been a real positive investment that is both helped our own public health and help the
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health of others around the world and build up goodwill. so, i'm strongly for it. i do want to just quibble with one thing. senator smith asked you all the questions about whether you're equally effective if you're working virtually are in the office. you said yes, as effective. i'm going to be honest, there's one area, and it's in the fta space, doctor califf, where it's not as effective. and that's inspections. the ap had a story that was out earlier this week that said, during the period largely from march of 2020 until june of 2021, you are not at the fda then, but during that period the fda missed 15,000 inspections it would normally have done. the fda is racing to catch up, has cleared a backlog of about 5000 of those. but there is no substitute for an inspection. there's just no substitute for it. what troubles me about that is the folks working at plants that need inspection like an infant formula plant, they're essentially essential workers. we can't stop producing formula,
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so they have to be there. if i have to be there to do something about the public, needs than the inspector should be there too. i recognize that poses health challenges but, again, you are not at the fda during this period when the inspections were stopped. but i, frankly, worry about if there are other surprises around the corner for us in the spaces where we weren't doing inspections. i'm not even going to ask you better because i know you take it seriously and you're trying to catch up on the backlog and give it -- >> can i just comment that i agree. i was asked about the office, if you ask about, definitely, inspections were put on hold in there has been a price to pay for that. >> yeah, i would say an inspector is every bit as essential as the worker that we require to go to the plant to produce medicine, to produce infant formula, et cetera. i want to ask a question that i always ask of dr. fauci. doctor fauci, i hope you're feeling will and i'm glad you're able to join us virtually. i started to share my own experiences with long covid
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nerve tingling symptoms about a year ago because, hey, i was having them and they're exactly the same as when i got covid in march 2020. but be, i was running into a lot of people who are experiencing more serious symptoms and weren't being believed. i felt like sharing, from this podium that yeah, no, i believe you, because i'm dealing with nerve tingling that i've never felt and 62 years. that might open up a discussion that make people feel like they're being heard. as i expected when i started to talk about, this my office has become a real nerve center for people who want to share their experiences with long covid and ask for help. so, what i want to ask putin out, given that we put in some significant funding for long covid research, but it's the current status of the nih recover project? >> thank you for that very important question, senator cain. let me assure you that, from the patients i've seen and the input we've seen from so many people, this is a real syndrome. it's a real problem. and it's something that we really need to get to the bottom of.
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there are two tracks that are going on, one is a broad, cohort track. which many people referred to as the recovery program. where large cohorts of individuals are now being followed in long-range, to determine the incidents, the prevalence and, hopefully, learn about the path of genesis of this real syndrome. they are now accumulating very large numbers of individuals. one of the problems, senator, that there is no yet identifiable pathogenic process. so, people ask, why are you treating? it what are you doing for? it it's very difficult to do that. because this is a heterogeneous syndrome, as you probably know from the people that now are, essentially, addressing your own office. because of your own personal involvement. but there are other things that are going on simultaneously. for example, there is a pediatric research network called prism which is working at this in children.
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particularly children that might have the inflammatory syndrome of children. there's one we called the immune of phenotyping, which is to determine if there is anything that relates to an average triggering of amino response as triggering some of the things that you might be feeling. including the tingling in your nerves. so, is the broader cohort project in a number of individual projects, i do hope, i say that sincerely because are so many people now when you talk about the tens and tens of millions of people who have covid in this country, that even a small percentage -- and i'm not sure is that small, who wind up with varying degrees of long covid. we have to address this problem, find that the underlying mechanism and do something about it. thank you. >> doctor thing fauci, thank you so much. i yield, back senator hickenlooper. >> thank you. senator rosen? >> thank you, chair
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hickenlooper. doctor fauci, i know we all hope you're feeling all right. thank you for being here and thank you to all of you for your continued presence and your work and your commitment to doing that could work going forward. i want to talk about the vaccines and booster shots just a little bit, because we know the covid virus, the covid-19 virus is going to continue to mutate. it's critical that we use our best offense, we all know this, as vaccines keep our most vulnerable population safe. they'll protect lives and livelihoods. i just want to focus for one second on one of our highly vulnerable populations, our seniors. many of them may have unique challenges, based on mobility or a variety of other issues. so, dr. walensky, we know more than 90% of seniors are fully vaccinated, nearly 70% have received their first booster dose. but only a little over 30% of our seniors have received their recommended second booster.
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so, what are you doing to, i would say, not just improve outreach but what about those access barriers that may have for seniors in assisted living, nursing homes, memory care and is alike? >> yeah, thank you, senator rosen. several weeks ago, we increased our recommendation, strength and our recommendation, for a second booster shot. that is in the context of this increased number of infections for our elderly. but i will tell you as we have data forthcoming, later this week, that will demonstrate that that fourth dose, compared to the third dose, has decrease the risk of death by seven fold. so, we now have, actually, data from the united states that is demonstrated a value of this booster dose, especially among the elderly in the most frail. we now have vaccines in tens of thousands of sites, we have vaccines and pharmacies, we have vaccines in providers,
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physicians offices. we have vaccine throughout the country and in our long term care facilities. and we are continually looking at vaccine confidence and canvassing our states to understand where we have challenges and vaccine confidence. one of the areas, as i indicated earlier, for pediatrics. but also true for adults. it's in our rural, urban divide, we have challenges and our rural communities. both for vaccine confidence but actually to get folks boosted for their first shot, as well as our second. so, we're continuing at reach their through media, social media. i've done media with our collaboration's with the usda and through rural public health associations. so, we are continuing that reach. once we can understand where the data is and where the challenges are, we focus in those areas so we can do more in those areas. >> well, maybe that's where our rural mobile health clinics can make a difference. but would you follow up on that, really, for our general population? you said the updated guidance
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is going to come out in a few weeks for access to the second booster dose for general population. because we know it keeps people out of the hospital and from suffering more severe does he is. >> yeah, so, we continue as to follow the data with regard to how our vaccines are performing. so far, the data on decreases of severe disease, hospitalizations and deaths have been limited, and the waning has been limited to the elderly population. but we are continuing to follow the data for the younger population, to see if and when there is waning in that population as well. and if and when we should bring a another booster dose to that population as well. >> thank you. i want to keep a little bit on seniors, because we know that the pandemic has had real mental health challenges for, of course, our children, for all of us. but i want to focus on seniors today, because arp is noted that it's critical to find a balance between patient health and caregiving, have the
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absence of caregivers where the caregivers themselves are vaccinated, it really makes a difference. i just would like to know what lessons the cdc has learned from the pandemic about caring for seniors and addressing the social isolation that we felt prior to the vaccine. what can we do there, do you think? >> we have learned really hard learned lessons, i would say, to the last two and a half years, with regards to mental health. not just in our seniors but across the age demographics in our students, our seniors, across the age demographic. we, at cdc, are doing a lot of work across the country with the va, with ngos, with community based organizations, within our tribes. to strengthen mental health resources, to decrease suicide, to allow children to get back to school, to allow parents and caregivers the mental health
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resources that they need, so that they can combat the challenges of mental health right now. >> thank you. i know my time is, i appreciate that going forward. for the k-12 population, senator murkowski and i introduced bipartisan legislation to bring mental health down that's funding for and that usually go to university in colleges, but to bring you down to k through 12. because we have seen increasing, besides increase mental health challenges, in nevada, at one point, are clark county school district was the highest of youth suicide, i believe, in the year 2020. a list no one wants to talk. so, i look forward to working with all of you and trying to do what we can to promote good mental health services and suicide prevention. thank you. thank you, senator rosen. i'm going to take just a moment of privilege. i want to ask one last question to dr. walensky. just because i don't think no the people of america really
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understand how interconnected we are. i want to take a moment to, we've seen from the current covid pandemic that viral pathogens don't pay any attention to national borders. the reality is, i think it creates real danger for the probability that new covid variants or other pathogens, like monkeypox, can emerge and spread quickly undetected in our interconnected world. the number i have is 62% of the global population is fully vaccinated against covid. clearly, there are significant disparities between countries. many countries just do not have the resources to get to a significant part of their population. more vaccines and therapeutics we can distributed around the world, the last chance we give variance to spread. i think that's, we don't really have a number on that yet, in terms of what is, how are we increasing the probability of some new variant? how serious is this danger bias
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allowing these large populations in isolation to almost incubate new pathogens, more importantly, new variants. doctor walensky, how is the cdc's tracking of viral threats globally changed with the launch of the center for forecasting and outbreak analytics? ? what more do we need to do now to address this global reality that we face in terms of public health threats. again, i'll take responsibility for how that information to the public. it's something most people are not aware of. >> thank you, we launched the center for forecasting an outbreak analytics. this is a center that will be able, is currently able, to scale up and look at forecasting to inform local jurisdictions. as well as -- to understand where the pathogens are in the risk of coming to us. as well as to innovate and to think about new ways that we
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might be able to forecast and understand pathogens headed in our direction. that, senator, has been really helpful in understanding the importance of new variants. the omicron variant. they have stood up and in forecasting and understanding where we need to put our resources at the local level. i do want to take one moment to say, i think you are exactly right, we know through this pandemic that no one is safe until everyone is safe. the disparities that we have in vaccination coverage around this world are likely to potentially lead to new variants. if we don't control these new variants, they will likely reach our shores again. i am concerned that with a lack of some mental funding, that we let's see if he will not be able to continue our global vaccine efforts that we have in terms of our technical assistance on the ground, our surveillance, our genomic sequencing. and our ability to do vaccine surveillance and vaccine safety
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surveillance within countries that we support. thank you very much for knowing that. >> thank you, senator burr? >> thank you, senator. i'm going to wrap up. i guess the chair is not coming back. a couple of quick questions. dr. walensky, public health emergency. it expires july 15th. do you intend to extend that? pierre >> i am not the one who would extend it. thank you, senator burr. if i that is for the secretary. you will make the recommendation won't you? i think it will be an olive hhs recommendation. let me just say -- >> we have remove the mask requirement. we have eliminated testing requirements to re-enter the country. we title 42 is a cdc decision. you said in your response to a
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letter to me that you are lifting it because, i'll refer to how you, i think, i dressed senator marshall, you said is, we have we have the tools, tests, vaccinations, therefore there's no longer a public health emergency. >> yeah, i misspoke. we have the tools, tests, and vaccinations. therefore, there is no longer a public health reason to bar people from entering this country. thank you, i appreciate the opportunity to correct. that >> there is a public health emergency still? >> i think the question of a public health emergency is a different question for, then is there a public health reason to bar people from entering into the country. i would like to make that distinction. >> it is already in the record. i think what you wrote to me. which, i, think basically says,
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we don't have a public health concern. let me ask you, what are you looking for two and the public health emergency? >> maybe if i could defer that question to aspr. i think as part of hhs, that would be helpful. >> jack, thank you, doctor. the secretary does have this authority. the secretary declared it in january of 2020, the previous secretary. it's been extended multiple times. one of the commitments we made in this administration is that we are going to give states and local governments 60 days notice before we take it down. and deciding whether to take it, down or in daily communication with our clinicians, our scientists, the folks on the ground. the public health emergency unlocks a health care system flexibility. something that cms relies on significantly. it extends medicaid coverage for folks during times of an emergency. it extends tele-health coverage
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to those on medicare. it allows hospitals and nursing homes and other health care facilities someplace ability in responding to the situation at hand. we continue to be in touch to understand whether these are still necessary. as dr. walensky said, the department will come together and make that decision or recommendation to the secretary for him to decide. we will give 60 days notice before it comes down. >> you've answered the question that i asked. which is, we're late piece extended? it's past july 15th, so it will be extended right,? no notifications been made to the states that it will be extended past that. i'll write the secretary and ask him what the criteria is to end the state of emergency. the public health emergency. i would only point out that the guidance that we currently have does not suggest there is a public health emergency, we are beginning to dismantle
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everything. i am not sure it's for any reason other than the fact that i run around the world is doing it. because we are 60 or 90 or hundred 20 days behind them. all of you just told senator smith that remote work hasn't hampered your agency's response efforts. the fda failed to identify a crisis with baby formula. cdc, i think failed to lead as it relates to monkeypox. today secretary becerra, when i wrote him and asked him about hhs staffing and will it actually work, where they actually working were, not at the office, wouldn't drive me with anything. >> none of you seem to know how
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many people in your complex, tony, i live and i chase out of it. because of the unique nature of the work there. how many of you can tell me how many people aren't at work, pilot programs, executive decorations. that makes me wonder how you measure whether people are actually working when at home. and then i come today. i always like to bring things back to the present. i have a tremendous amount of respect for all four of you. some i've dealt with longer than others. i supported where there was public acknowledgment of it. everybody, tony updates me, was here before i got here 28 years ago.
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because i believe you had the capacity, the intelligence, the education, and the independence to serve in the role urine. for two of you, i asked when you are confirmed where you provide me with all the questions i ask. the answer was yes. now we come to today. this has been the most well orchestrated event that i've seen in 28 years that i've been here. for most of you, you have been willing participants and it. this was designed to pressure republicans to open a checkbook, sign the check, and let the administration fill in the balance. with no detail on how, when, for what that was being asked for.
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i've never in 20 years seen an attempt to get an outcome without answering questions. i leave today extremely disappointed that maybe my judgment has been blood. i will say this to each and every one of you. nobody has worked harder than this issue on the hill than i have. nobody has gone to bat for emergency money with no strings attached and i have. there is a point in time where my patients runs out. where the requirement i have for my constituents and north carolina, my colleagues in the minority, which are 50, exactly what's the majority, requires a degree of detail that you in this administration are not willing to share. i personally believe that at the federal government doesn't
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lead by forcing employees back to work, google is a lot different than the fda. google can pull it off. the federal government has to set the example for the rest of the country. that it's time to leave your house. i. hate to see with the health care cost is going to be to the country for, mental health now on the adult side. husbands and wives aren't used to spending all day together. just like kids need the interaction of school. no folks, let's get back to running your agencies. let's bring the employees back into the office. let's answer the questions that every member of congress has for you. and not just the ones the administration wants to do. you served in a uniquely special capacity. and when you address public health, it's not for some, it is for all.
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i hope you will look at this dais and these members and realize there is no difference between one that sits on the side or that side. here on this committee because they are passionate about the issues that we take up. i thank the chair for his indulgence. i thank the witnesses for their expertise and their willingness to be here today. i yield back. >> thank you, senator burr. i echo his appreciation for all of your hard work. i realized that science, especially medical science, is some of the most daunting, present some of those daunting challenges that we face. i remember when i was a small business, the times of cost being greatest anxiety and serious mental health challenges was when i didn't have enough information to make important decisions that were going to affect the lives of my
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employees. or sometimes even my customers. that challenge of having to deal with the facts we have, not the fact that we would like. having to make decisions that affect peoples well,, their lives is some of the hardest decisions you can make when you don't have, when one size does not give you all the answers, to know that you have the answer. yet, you've all stood up and continued your work and dealt with these evolving situations. i am very grateful. i would like to thank all the colleagues on the senate. also all the witnesses. doctor alinsky, doctor fauci, doctor califf, assistant secretary o'connell, this is an important conversation. i hope after this discussion is clear how critical it is that we pass emergency funding. and make sure that we can
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protect our communities from what this pandemic throws next. which, again, we can't be certain of. for any senators who wish to ask additional questions, questions for the record will be due in ten business days. july 1st, at 5 pm. this committee stands adjourned. >> the fda authorized a vaccine for infants, children ids six months -- aged six months to four years. vaccinations could begin next
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week. >> former president donald trump speaks today at the faith and freedom coalition in nashville one day after the january 6 committee held a hearing on his effort to persuade mike pence to not certify the 2020 election results. live coverage starts at 1:30 on easter -- on c-span on our free mobile app or online at
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the january 6 committee enters day four public hearings as they continue disclosing evidence gathered in their investigation. watch the hearing live tuesday at 1:00 eastern on c-span3, c-span now, or anytime online at you can also visit our website, 6 to watch previous hearings and other videos related to that day. c-span, your unfiltered view of government. we continue here with your calls on the 50th anniversary of the water to break in. 15 more minutes to hear from you. also on the topic of trust in government. republicans, (202)-748-8001. (202)-748-8000 for democrats, (202)-748-8001 for republicans, (202)-748-8002 for independents. as you are calling in, a couple other watergate events to preview today. 5 p.m.


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