We need answers
I have been extremely concerned by the Trump Administration’s inconsistent and inadequate response to this pandemic. Nearly 95,000 Americans have died, approximately 1.6 million have tested positive for the virus and more than 38 million workers have filed for unemployment in the past nine weeks.
As chair of the House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations panel – which oversees much of the nation’s health care system – I have been working to hold the Administration accountable for its missteps, and also to develop solutions to dramatically improve our national response.
On Wednesday, I announced our subcommittee’s plans to investigate and hold hearings as necessary on key areas where the Administration has failed the American people, our states and marginalized communities.
One major focus will be testing and contact tracing, as it is clear that our country still lacks the necessary testing capacity to protect public health.
We also want to make sure that state and local communities get the life-saving equipment they need. Our subcommittee will continue oversight work regarding federal efforts to acquire and distribute PPE supplies.
Additionally, a key oversight priority will be engaging with the Administration on its efforts to support development of a COVID-19 vaccine and plans for its use once approved.
In order to support social distancing, our committee is continuing to work virtually. In fact, we are even preparing to hold our first virtual oversight hearing in the coming weeks – which will allow members of the public to tune in from wherever they are. If you’re curious about how we’re preparing, here’s a behind-the-scenes look from this week:
The oversight issues we are addressing should reflect bipartisan concerns. In fact, just yesterday, I joined with Democratic and Republican committee leaders to send a letter urging the Trump Administration to develop a national COVID-19 vaccine plan.
As we wrote in our letter to White House Coronavirus Task Force Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx, the comprehensive strategy should outline plans for development, manufacturing, distribution, provider training, public education and broad vaccine access.
If you’re interested, you can read our letter by clicking here.
Finally, I wanted to thank everyone who joined our virtual community forum this week. As we continue to work through this difficult time, I will do everything I can to make sure our community has all the resources it needs, and that includes additional virtual events.
If you have a few minutes, I’d like to get your thoughts on your preferences for these events. Please click here to take our informal survey.
As we head into this long Memorial Day weekend, I just want to take a moment to honor all of the brave men and women who have given their life in service to our nation. The freedoms that we, as a nation, are able to enjoy today are because of them, and the sacrifices they made. No matter where you may find yourself, or what you may be doing, this Memorial Day, I hope you’ll take a moment to honor these true heroes.
And as always, if you have any questions, or need anything at all, please don’t hesitate to contact my office at 303-844-4988. Or you can visit my website at DeGette.house.gov to learn more about all of the different ways that my staff and I are available to assist you.
Member of Congress