Congressional Republicans are desperate to help President Donald Trump downplay the coronavirus and cover up the seriousness of the crisis, but their plan to get an actual doctor to do so during House testimony on Thursday blew up in their faces.

The number of cases across the United States has now passed over 1,000 and 36 have died. State governments are initiating emergency powers and large events are being canceled in an effort to slow or halt the spread. The World Health Organization has even classified the coronavirus as a global pandemic, yet Trump insists that all is well and that his administration has somehow responded perfectly.

So when Rep. Michael Cloud (R-Texas) had the opportunity to question the National Institute of Health’s Dr. Anthony Fauci, an infectious disease expert, his goal was to prod him into saying that coronavirus is less deadly than the flu, a common Trump talking point that has been debunked.

“I’d like to spend some time trying to clear the record… as we try to find the proper balance between creating a positive, proactive response to real threats, as opposed to instigating overreaction,” Cloud began.

He compared the virus to past outbreaks, but Fauci had statistics on his side.

“The seasonal flu has a mortality of 0.1 percent,” Fauci said. “The state mortality, overall, of this… is about three percent.”

In fact, coronavirus is “ten times more lethal than the seasonal flu,” he pointed out.

Cloud then tried to compare it to the H1N1 pandemic of 2009, but botched his question.

“But less lethal than N1H1 (sic)?” Cloud asked.

Again, Fauci schooled him.

“The 2009 pandemic of H1N1 was even less lethal than the regular seasonal flu,” Fauci said.

Here’s the video via YouTube:

The American public needs to take this virus seriously. Failure to do so only invites disaster. Instead of listening to Republicans, just listen to doctors like Fauci. He clearly cares more about the American people than the GOP does.

Featured Image: YouTube screenshot