Dr. Hahn and the other three doctors who testify on Wednesday – Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the government's leading infectious disease expert; Dr. Robert R. Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and adm. Brett P. Giroir, the Test Tsar – told the Senate Committee that if the F.D.A. If they approved a vaccine in an emergency, they would take it and recommend that their families do the same.
It was an echo of an earlier era when Jonas Salk, the inventor of the polio vaccine, tested it on himself and his children before giving it to patients. "If a vaccine is shown to be approved by the F.D.A. To be safe and effective, I would definitely take this vaccine. I would recommend that my family take this vaccine, ”said Dr. Fauci.
Dr. Redfield also faced questions about his agency's testing guidelines released last month, which indicated that certain people exposed to the virus did not need to be screened. Internal documents show that, despite serious objections from agency scientists on the C.D.C. were released, and the agency rolled them back last week after widespread criticism.
On Wednesday, Dr. Redfield, however, that the agency's guidance "was never intended to limit the screening of asymptomatic individuals". And while he said the "original guidelines were drawn up with" the full commitment of individuals at CDC ", he did not deny that they had not been subject to the agency's scientific review, saying that the final guidelines were" a collaborative document " which was created with the participation of Adm Brett Giroir and the Coronavirus Task Force.
Dr. Redfield also said that preliminary results of a study on the prevalence of Covid-19 "show that more than 90 percent of the population remains susceptible to the disease".
The hearing threatens public scolding from Mr. Trump if he hears statements he does not like. Last week the President reprimanded Dr. Redfield after telling a Senate committee that a vaccine won't be widely available until the middle of next year and that masks are so important to fighting the disease caused by the coronavirus Covid-19 that they could be even more important than a vaccine.
Senator Lamar Alexander, chairman of the committee, urged Congress to start planning the next pandemic and warned experts that they could say they could come as early as next year. "We must act now to stop the cycle of panic, neglect and panic," he said.