Press Release

Bipartisan E&C Leaders Request GAO Review on Predictive Models for Disease Outbreaks


11.09.17

WASHINGTON, DC – Bipartisan Energy and Commerce Committee leaders today sent a letter to the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) requesting a review of how federal agencies use predictive models to inform their decision-making. Signing the letter was: Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR), Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Ranking Member Diana DeGette (D-CO).

The request follows #SubOversight’s May 2017 Zika hearing and modeling issues that arose during the committee’s work during the Ebola crisis, concerning challenges federal agencies face in the creation of predictive models of disease outbreaks.

The leaders cited a recent GAO report which made the point that models that could accurately predict instances of infectious disease outbreaks could lead to better planning and utilization of our public health resources.

“However, the same report also found that a lack of sufficient data and methods are among the challenges for infectious disease modeling. These challenges increase uncertainty in model estimates, which can lead to delays in actions needed to control or mitigate the effects of emerging diseases,” wrote Walden, Pallone, and DeGette. “We are interested in how federal agencies have used predictive models to inform decision-making in recent outbreaks and the limitations and challenges in developing infectious disease model predictions.”

Click HERE to read a copy of the letter.

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Press Release