Updated 2:51 PM EDT, Tue May 12, 2020
Several US health experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, testified before a Senate committee Tuesday — but they did it via teleconference.
The unusual format was out of an abundance of caution, following potential exposures to the novel coronavirus. Some of the senators were also working remotely, including committee chairman Lamar Alexander, who is self-quarantining after a staff member at his office tested positive for Covid-19.
The hearing was meant to give senators a chance to hear "about what federal, state and local governments are doing to help Americans go back to work and back to school as rapidly and safely as possible," according to a release from the committee.
It came as states across the country have started taking actions to roll back the business closures and stay-at-home orders that were put in place two months ago to try to slow the coronavirus infection rate.
Fauci, who leads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned senators that states and cities face serious consequences if they open up too quickly. He urged states not to reopen until they know they have the capabilities to handle an inevitable uptick in cases once they relax stay-at-home orders.