House COVID panel accuses Trump administration of exacerbating pandemic in final report

House COVID panel accuses Trump administration of exacerbating pandemic in final report

The House Special Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis released its final report Friday before Republicans take control of the House in the next Congress, providing new findings on how the Trump administration’s actions had a negative impact on the American response.

The report from the Democratic-led subcommittee, chaired by Rep. James Clyburn (SC), highlighted the “failure of the White House’s handling of the pandemic.”
response and persistent pattern of political interference.

Clyburn also announced that he would hold a final hearing on Wednesday focused on the recommendations made by his panel.

The committee determined that the previous administration failed to adapt its response to the COVID-19 pandemic as public health experts’ understanding of the virus changed — and also failed to coordinate properly. with public health officials.

In particular, the report indicates that the Trump White House’s focus on certain goals prevented the mitigation of the spread of the virus, such as the emphasis on symptomatic transmission of the virus and the return of Americans who were at home. abroad at the start of the epidemic. .

Ann Schuchat, former senior deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), told the panel that “a good number” of employees from various federal health agencies were focused on repatriating Americans in February 2020, at the detriment of priority viral attenuation methods.

“We were trying to queue community mitigation planning for – you know, in our efforts to delay the spread, we were trying to queue healthcare preparedness in terms of PPE [personal protective equipment] and reusable, and what was the strategy to get enough where we knew we didn’t have enough supply,” Schuchat said. “It couldn’t be on the agenda because most of the conversations were, how are we going to handle this group of cruise passengers.”

Among the pandemic response measures that were overlooked under the Trump administration were the development of an accurate COVID-19 test and the early mobilization of supply chains for PPE, the committee said.

The panel noted that supply chain management was delegated to former President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, then a senior White House adviser, who worked with a team of mostly young volunteers.

COVID-19 tests that were sent out by the CDC early in the outbreak had a 33% failure rate, with many labs reporting verification failures in February 2020. Despite knowledge of these flawed tests, the CDC did not stop their delivery or issue an alert about their faulty performance.

Later in the pandemic, the committee found that the Trump administration’s economic relief efforts were neither thorough nor fair, leaving millions at risk of losing their homes and many small and medium-sized businesses without the same relief measure as that offered to large companies.

“Just as its model, the Truman Committee, uncovered the waste, fraud, and abuse of taxpayers’ money at the Department of Defense during World War II, the select subcommittee acted as an effective steward of public funds, identifying billions of taxpayer funds spent inefficiently, ineffectively or inequitably within the federal government’s pandemic relief programs,” Clyburn said in a statement.

“As this final report shows, in many cases the Trump administration’s mismanagement of relief programs has left them particularly vulnerable to waste, fraud and abuse,” he added.

While many people and businesses have been left without relief, the committee found that other entities have been able to profit from it throughout the pandemic, pointing to two online telemedicine platforms that have benefited from misinformation popularly spread by right-wing extremists.

America’s Frontline Doctors and, which the committee opened an investigation of last year, both prescribed unproven drugs to treat COVID-19 — hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin — but were hailed by right-wing figures, including Trump and Infowars host Alex Jones.

Both websites “partnered with fringe agents” in order to reach more customers, according to the final report, raking in millions of dollars from prescriptions, as well as consultations that didn’t always happen.

The committee’s overriding determination was that the United States had long underinvested in its public health infrastructure before the pandemic. The panel called on the country to “reinvigorate” its public health capacities by investing in new tests, treatments and vaccines.

“I emphasized during the tenure of the select subcommittee that our oversight work must ultimately be forward-looking; the coronavirus crisis will not be the last public health emergency or economic crisis we face,” Clyburn said.

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), a prominent member of the committee, slammed the report Friday as evidence that the panel was “purely political” and not “an impartial review.”

“Democrats have worked overtime to cover up President Biden’s failure to protect Americans. Democrats refused to investigate after it was revealed that the Biden White House was manipulating science to allow a radical teachers’ union to rewrite CDC guidelines to make it easier to close schools,” Scalise said. “They refused to investigate the origins of COVID-19 and Dr. Fauci’s efforts to downplay the Wuhan lab leak theory.

When the 118th Congress convenes next month, Republicans will have control of the House after winning a majority in the midterm elections. GOP lawmakers have pledged to conduct their own investigations into the coronavirus pandemic, including examining the origins of the virus and how relief funds are being used.

Scalise said Republicans will hold “the Biden administration and other government officials” accountable once they take control.

Republicans have made it clear they plan to investigate Anthony Fauci, longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief White House medical adviser. Fauci, who is stepping away from government work, said he had “”no problem”” testifying before Congress, which he has done hundreds of times in his career.

Updated at 2:20 p.m.

#House #COVID #panel #accuses #Trump #administration #exacerbating #pandemic #final #report

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *