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E&C Leaders Call on CDC Director Redfield to Brief Congress

Sep 3, 2020
Press Release
The Committee Leaders’ Request Follows Major Changes to COVID-19 Testing Guidance and Announcement on Vaccine Distribution

Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Health Subcommittee Chairwoman Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chair Diana DeGette (D-CO) released the following joint statement today calling on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert R. Redfield, M.D. to brief members of the Committee on a series of announcements affecting the nation’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Over the past few days, major CDC leadership decisions affecting the national response to the coronavirus pandemic have not been adequately and clearly communicated by CDC and this Administration.  First, CDC changed its guidance, without explanation or clear scientific evidence, on who should be tested for COVID-19.  This change could dramatically reduce the number of people tested for COVID-19 after being exposed to the virus.  Second, CDC notified states that they should be prepared to distribute a potential vaccine by November 1, just two days before the presidential election. 

“Today, we are publicly calling on Director Redfield to brief members of the Committee next week on these and any other upcoming CDC actions in response to COVID-19.  Let us be very clear, keeping Congress in the dark during a national public health crisis is unacceptable and will not be tolerated by this Committee.

“We are deeply concerned that CDC’s failure to keep Congress and the American people properly informed of these major decisions is further evidence that political forces within the Trump Administration are increasingly exerting control over the nation’s premiere public health agency at the expense of our nation’s health and wellbeing.”