The leaders of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US Food and Drug Administration and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said Tuesday they’ll leave self-quarantine to attend meetings at the White House.
They agreed to self-quarantine after having been exposed to a White House staffer with coronavirus infection.
CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield, FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn and NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci had all said over the weekend that they would work from home because of the exposure.
But in a joint statement Tuesday, all three said they would go to the White House for meetings, after all. All are members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have together determined that government entities working in support of the COVID-19 response efforts are providing essential services and the current guidelines for critical infrastructure workers apply,” they said in the statement.
“Therefore, providing that they are asymptomatic, screened, and monitored for fever and other symptoms, wear a face covering, and maintain a distance of at least six feet from others, Drs. Redfield, Hahn, and Fauci can and will participate in meetings on the White House complex when their attendance is needed,” the statement continued.
Fauci had already said he would attend meetings at the White House if he was needed, and told the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Tuesday that he was at the White House Monday.
“I was at the White House yesterday, and I will likely even perhaps even be there today, and in my office at the NIH. So it is not really strictly speaking, the quarantine as we know it, but it is performing our duties as critical workers,” he said.