As COVID-19 Deaths Reach 200,000, Heinrich Pushes For A Task Force To Investigate Trump Administration’s Political Interference In Pandemic Response

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) joined 33 Senate Democrats to introduce the Science and Transparency Over Politics Act. This legislation would create a task force of the Pandemic Response and Accountability Committee charged with conducting a thorough investigation into any political interference with decisions made by scientific agencies of the Department of Health and Human Services in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic response.

The Science and Transparency Over Politics Act Act would also release these reports to committees of jurisdiction and could be made public so that Americans and independent experts can see whether scientists were unimpeded in their work, or a product was pushed for political reasons. Additionally, the task force would have full discretion to release any information that it deems is in the public interest and may be important to public safety.

“President Trump and his administration have repeatedly fumbled the response to COVID-19 pandemic by putting politics ahead of science. President Trump chose to politicize the greatest public health crisis of our generation, and we have seen the results in the loss of more than 200,000 of our fellow Americans,” said Heinrich. “In the last week alone, a leading Trump administration official spun total falsehoods about federal scientists, the President himself continues to lie about the impact of the pandemic, and the CDC flip-flops on key scientific guidance on how the virus spreads. We must put an end to this right away and empower scientists and researchers to keep working toward vaccines and treatments without interference from the White House.”

The Trump administration’s interference in the work of the nation’s public health agencies far precedes this most recent string of alarming examples. President Trump promoted hyrdoxychloroquine as an unproven treatment for COVID-19, and reportedly removed the head of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority for insisting this claim be scientifically vetted. Trump administration officials also blocked and contradicted CDC guidance meant to help schools, workplaces, and communities reopen.

See full text of the Science and Transparency Over Politics Act HERE.