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May 06, 2020

Thompson to DHS & HHS: Administration Must Level with Public on Projected Coronavirus Cases and Deaths

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, sent a letter to Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf and Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar regarding the Federal government’s coronavirus pandemic projections, and whether adequate preparations are being made by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to respond to these projected trends.  To date, DHS and HHS have largely ignored the Committee’s multiple requests for data and information.

Letter excerpts:

Unfortunately, as it has throughout this crisis, the Administration continues to share vague, contradictory, and even cherry-picked information—which leaves both Congress and the American people in the dark about the likely course of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as the adequacy of current efforts to combat this disease.  States are moving to relax the stay-at-home orders and other social distancing requirements that have been in place in recent weeks, but even the President has warned that this may lead to increases in deaths from coronavirus. 

It is past time for the Administration to start leveling with the American people.  Congress and the American people need the data and information that will enable us to understand projected trends in coronavirus caseloads under various scenarios and, relatedly, the Nation’s actual needs for testing and PPE.  Without such data, we cannot assess whether Federal and state efforts are likely to meet these needs, or what additional steps are necessary to ensure we are prepared to diagnose and treat those who may fall ill with coronavirus in the coming months.

Link to letter

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