DeGette announces COVID-19 oversight agenda

May 20, 2020
In The News

U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, who chairs the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, announced on Tuesday that her agenda for investigating the Trump Administration’s response to COVID-19 includes reviews of equipment supply chains, vaccine development and testing efforts.

Calling the administration’s coronavirus response “inconsistent and inadequate,” DeGette and committee chair U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., said in a joint statement that the oversight plan “focuses on some of the key areas where the administration has failed the American people, the states and marginalized communities."

DeGette’s subcommittee will continue to prompt the administration for its plan to increase diagnostic and antibody testing, as well as monitor the federal government’s ability to support contact tracing and monitor infection trends.

Members will also investigate the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s interaction with the personal protective equipment supply chain, and whether the agency is “playing a more proactive role in decisions related to distribution of supplies.” Earlier this month, after Gov. Jared Polis accused FEMA of delaying state orders of ventilators to fulfill their own needs, a spokesperson responded that "FEMA has not and is not seizing or taking supplies or personal protective equipment.”

Vaccine production, the safety of food workers, and the administration’s ability to “prioritize the public interest” are the final items on the subcommittee’s agenda. DeGette cited President Donald Trump’s decision to defund the World Health Organization, his dismissal of multiple inspectors general, and a ban on fetal tissue in COVID-19 research as actions that called into question for her the White House’s dedication to public health.