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Pallone and Murray Criticize Trump for Endangering People With Anti-Science Rhetoric Regarding COVID-19 Pandemic

Jul 6, 2020
Press Release
“Your continued anti-science rhetoric has cost lives and continues to put the health and wellbeing of every person in this country at risk.”

Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, wrote a letter to President Trump criticizing his anti-science rhetoric, which has spread inaccurate information about the pandemic and politicized efforts to respond to it. The Members warned that the President’s bad example is endangering people and encouraging dangerous, anti-science behavior at the state and local levels, and called on President Trump to end the anti-science rhetoric and prioritize facts and data in his response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We write to you today regarding our deep concern about the effect of your Administration’s anti-science rhetoric on America’s public health during this deadly pandemic.  For decades, administrations of both parties and Congress have upheld a bipartisan tradition of supporting core public health and science in this country.  But since the onset of the coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, you have repeatedly pushed politics over science to drive the federal government’s response to COVID-19 and personally spread inaccurate information regarding the virus and the steps necessary to effectively respond to it,” wrote the Members. 

The Members’ letter comes after President Trump has repeatedly limited health officials’ ability to share information with the public, advocated for unproven treatments, turned mask wearing into an ideological debate, and called for reducing testing at the same time cases are rising across the country. In light of these actions, there have been reports of state and local health authorities being threatened or pushed out of their positions after refusing to support reopening plans which they believed ran against sound public health practices.

“The departures illustrate two pernicious trends with your Administration–the persistence and intensity of anti-science sentiment and the resulting vacancies in key leadership roles in the midst of the crisis.  Your continued anti-science rhetoric has cost lives and continues to put the health and wellbeing of every person in this country at risk. It is particularly dangerous as we continue through a critical period when public health organizations must move full speed ahead with testing and tracing,” the Members concluded. 

Read the full letter HERE