The two-day interview, slated for January 8 and 9, will mark Fauci's inaugural appearance before the 118th Congress. The subcommittee also confirmed that Fauci has consented to participate in a public hearing, the date of which remains undisclosed.
The subcommittee members are expected to question Fauci on the origins of the virus, the U.S. response to the pandemic, and strategies to prevent future outbreaks.
In a letter to Fauci, the committee stated, “As the former Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Chief Medical Advisor to the President of the United States, you have knowledge pertinent to both investigating and evaluating the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic but also preparing for future pandemics.” The letter further emphasized that the Select Subcommittee anticipates truthful responses from Fauci, in accordance with House and Select Subcommittee rules and precedents.
The subcommittee had initially requested Fauci's testimony in February, and an agreement was reached with Fauci and his team regarding the interview on November 3, as per the letter. Fauci is expected to provide seven hours of testimony and will also appear at a public hearing, the date of which will be announced later.
In a letter released in late September, the subcommittee disclosed that Fauci was summoned to the CIA headquarters “without a record of entry” to assist in its review of the virus's origins. Subcommittee Chairman Brad Wenstrup expressed concerns about the possibility of the virus originating from a lab in Wuhan, China, and implicated Fauci in a potential cover-up.
Fauci has faced significant criticism for his efforts to discredit the “lab leak” theory. This includes a 2020 research paper he influenced, which argued that COVID-19 originated from human contact with a bat. The scientists behind the findings admitted that Fauci intended for them to suppress the “lab leak” theory, a directive he allegedly reiterated to the researchers multiple times.
The subcommittee also disclosed that Fauci privately acknowledged that Wuhan, China, was conducting gain-of-function research prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. Fauci's recommendations for stringent restrictions during the pandemic, including masking, social distancing, and vaccination, while serving in the Trump administration, also attracted criticism.