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Press Release Published:May 12, 2022

Scalise, Comer, Biggs Lead Call for CDC Oversight Hearing

From hiding data to keeping schools closed, Republican lawmakers outline systemic problems at the deeply flawed agency

WASHINGTON—Republican Whip and Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis Ranking Member Steve Scalise (R-La.), House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.), and Representative Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), along with Republican lawmakers on both panels, today called on Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Select Subcommittee Chairman James Clyburn (D-S.C.) to hold an oversight hearing to examine the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) many failures during the pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has proven the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is a deeply flawed agency. Throughout the pandemic, the CDC has at times acted as an ivory tower academic institution refusing to follow the science, provide practical and current guidance during an unprecedented health crisis, or gather and share sound data with the American people. These are only a few examples of the agency’s failures over the past two years. CDC bureaucrats have published confusing guidance, acted outside their legal authority, undermined efforts to reopen schools, and shockingly allowed political organizations to edit official guidance. Recent reporting regarding alleged data mining and tracking of Americans’ cell phone locations only adds to these concerns. We therefore request an immediate hearing to oversee the CDC, as well as examine options to reform the agency and address the issues cited above,” wrote the Republican lawmakers.

In their letter to Chairs Maloney and Clyburn, the Republican lawmakers outline how the CDC failed to uphold its mission during the pandemic. CDC bureaucrats worked against reopening schools, concealed data and essential information to control the narrative about vaccine effectiveness, issued confusing community masking guidelines, worked remotely during the worst pandemic in a century, and purchased Americans’ cell phone location data to track compliance with lockdowns.

“CDC has failed to meet its mission throughout this pandemic. To prepare for future pandemics, it is imperative Democrats abandon their partisan pursuits and, instead, conduct legitimate oversight to reform the CDC. Again, we request you convene an immediate hearing to conduct this important oversight. The future of public health and pandemic preparedness relies on the effectiveness of the CDC,” concluded the Republican lawmakers.

The letter to Chairs Maloney and Clyburn can be found here.