“Dr. Redfield has testified on the Hill at least four times over the last three months. We need our doctors focused on the pandemic response,” a White House official said, confirming the decision to block the CDC’s participation in the hearing.

But a spokesman for the House Education and Labor Committee said the panel had requested testimony from any CDC official, not necessarily Redfield.

“We asked for anyone at CDC who could testify at the hearing. The invite was not for Dr. Redfield or no one,” the official said.

House Education and Labor Chairman Bobby Scott said the testimony from CDC officials is critical to understanding how scientists would manage the reopening of US schools.