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Dr. Anthony Foci said Tuesday that the development of a coronavirus vaccine was moving at a rapid pace. Foki spoke when President Donald Trump on Tuesday voiced strong support for denying the use of the malaria drug as a treatment, the coronavirus. (July 28)

AP Patriotic

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump praised Dr. Anthony Foci and Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, after the two clashed in a congressional hearing on Friday over preventing the spread of COVID-19.

“Great work by Jim Jordan, as well as some very good statements by Tony Foci. Great progress has been made!” Trump tweeted aboard the BBC First as he traveled to Tampa, Florida, to discuss the coronavirus response and hurricane preparedness.

Trump later returned the message from Jordan to protest the fact that people are preventing him from going to church, work and school, issues he signed with Foki during a hearing before the House Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis.

Foki, often criticized by Trump and other Republicans, said people should avoid the crowd – and keep children away from them – to prevent the spread of the virus, which has killed more than 150,000 Americans.

Jordan once asked Foki about the safety of mass protests against racism and police misconduct, and whether the government should restrict or even ban such gatherings.

Foki didn’t bite when he told the Ohio congressman, “I don’t understand what you’re asking me (as a health official) to think about who should be arrested. That’s not my position.”

More: Dr. Anthony Foci, another Trump chief, admits delays in COVID-19 testing

More: Fact: Foki warned the Trump administration in 2017 about an unexpected outbreak of infectious diseases

More: “I think I’m quite effective”: Foci says he stays at his job despite a “difficult” relationship with Trump

“Any crowd, be it a protest – any crowd of people approaching without masks is a risk. And I will stick to that statement,” Foki later said: “It’s a health statement. It’s not a judgment.”

Foki, who says he has a “complicated” relationship with Trump, has rarely hesitated to express his disagreement with the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus.

During the crisis, Trump avoided Foki at various times, but it seems that relations have warmed in recent days. The president and a senior epidemic expert spoke together this week at the Red Cross headquarters.

Jordan, one of Trump’s strongest allies in Congress, was also a critic of Foki.

He once said to a doctor during a hearing: “I have not seen people go out during church services and harm police or burn buildings … There are no protests, but you cannot go to church on Sunday.”

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