WASHINGTON—The Heritage Foundation today released a comprehensive special report that lists the many questions that lawmakers should be asking in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The truth is that a lot of failures we saw within the federal government’s COVID response predate both the Trump and Biden administrations,” says report author and Heritage senior research fellow Robert Moffit. “These are deeper problems that need to be addressed because poor government actions caused real harm in our society—from learning declines in children to failed businesses.”
Moffit and co-author Doug Badger call for congressional committees to have oversight hearings on several aspects of the pandemic, including:
- The origin of COVID-19 and any role that U.S. funding might have played in aiding gain-of-function research in China.
- The lack of effective coordination and communication within the executive branch in responding to the pandemic.
- Problems that state public health officials encountered in getting real-time information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- The reasons behind the initial failure to deploy rapid diagnostic testing for the virus.
- The decision by federal officials to suppress scientific dissent on a variety of big issues—from lockdowns to discussing natural immunity and the validity of mask mandates.
“One big point our research kept showing is that the CDC needs to be reformed,” says Badger, a former Heritage senior research fellow. “The agency will not reform itself, and the previous Congress lavished tens of billions of new spending without enacting serious reforms. The new Congress must place CDC reform among its highest priorities. "
Read the full report here.