Select Subcommittee Seeks Interviews with 11 Current and Former Officials as Investigations into Trump Administration Pandemic Response Continue

Jul 26, 2021
Press Release
Staff Analysis Documents More than 88 Incidents of Political Interference by Trump Administration in the Public Health Response
Washington D.C. (July 26, 2021)Today, Chairman James E. Clyburn and all Democratic Members of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis advanced their investigations into the federal government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic by requesting documents and transcribed interviews from three former Trump Administration political appointees and eight current and former public health officials who were involved in the prior Administration’s failed response efforts.  These requests come amid the release of an updated staff analysis documenting at least 88 incidents of the Trump Administration’s political interference in the coronavirus response, including 27 incidents that have been identified since the Select Subcommittee’s previous analysis in October 2020.
 
“The Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis has been conducting investigations into the federal government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.  We have sought to better understand what went wrong, identify ways to improve the country’s response, and determine what corrective steps are necessary to ensure our nation is better prepared for any future public health crisis,” the Members wrote.  “These investigations have revealed, among other failures, that Trump Administration officials engaged in a persistent pattern of political interference in the nation’s pandemic response—overruling and bullying our nation’s scientists and making decisions that allowed the virus to spread more rapidly in an attempt to advance former President Trump’s electoral prospects.” 
 
Today, the Select Subcommittee also released a new email containing additional evidence that high-ranking Trump Administration appointees, including former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield, may have instructed career CDC staff to conceal evidence of political interference. The recently obtained document indicates that Dr. Redfield and other CDC leaders discussed how to handle an attempt by a Trump Administration political appointee to alter CDC's scientific reports and corroborates statements made by a career CDC official during a staff interview last year.  During the interview, the CDC official told Select Subcommittee staff that she was instructed to delete an email from the political appointee seeking to alter CDC’s reports—and that she understood this instruction came from Dr. Redfield.
 
The Select Subcommittee is also seeking information regarding other aspects of the Trump Administration’s failed pandemic response that it continues to investigate, including information on the consideration of a dangerous herd immunity strategy, public messaging related to the coronavirus, data collection practices, and any adverse employment action taken against federal officials for their role in the response.
 
"Our public health institutions must never be compromised again by decision makers more concerned with politics than keeping Americans safe. It is therefore imperative that the Select Subcommittee's investigations into the prior Administration's response to the pandemic provide full accountings of what occurred," Members continued. 
 
Read the letters to former Trump advisors and career CDC officials:
 
Read the letter to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra and CDC Director Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky requesting interviews with:
  • Jay Butler, Deputy Director of Infectious Diseases, CDC
  • Christine Casey, Editor, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, CDC
  • Kate Galatas, Deputy Director for Communications, CDC
  • Bill Hall, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, HHS
  • Michael Iademarco, Director of Center for Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services, CDC
  • Mark Weber, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, HHS
Read the staff analysis.
 
Read the new documents released by the Select Subcommittee.
 
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117th Congress