Watch live: Dr. Fauci, CDC Director Robert Redfield and Brett Giroir testify on coronavirus

The nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, as well as Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield and Assistant Secretary for Health at the Department of Health and Human Services Admiral Brett Giroir are testifying before a House coronavirus panel Friday about the need for a national comprehensive plan to address the coronavirus pandemic.

The hearing comes as states nationwide are battling a surge in coronavirus cases. The U.S. this week surpassed 150,000 coronavirus deaths and has now seen more than 4.49 million cases. 

Fauci, Giroir and Redfield, according to their prepared remarks, do not see the coronavirus dissipating soon. “While it remains unclear how long the pandemic will last, COVID-19 activity will likely continue for some time,” they state. Because scientists are uncertain about the impact COVID-19 will have during the influenza season, they also stressed the need for Americans to get their flu vaccinations.

“In the context of likely ongoing COVID-19 activity, getting a flu vaccine is more important now that ever,” their testimony says.

However, their outlook for the development coronavirus vaccine remains positive. A number of companies have been making progress in clinical trials, and Fauci will tell the panel “there is growing optimism that one or more of these vaccine candidates will prove safe and effective by late 2020 or early 2021.”