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DeLauro Statement on Azar, Redfield Declining to Appear Before Appropriations Committee

July 27, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), released the following statement after Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar and Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Robert Redfield declined to appear before the Subcommittee to discuss emergency coronavirus funding needs and data reporting:

“The Trump administration has allowed the COVD-19 pandemic to become a partisan issue, and lives have been lost and more are at risk because Secretary Azar and Director Redfield are playing into the politics. As one thousand people die a day in the United States, these questions cannot wait. This administration insists on returning to normal, but we are no closer to controlling this pandemic than we were months ago.

“I, my subcommittee, and the American people deserve clarity. Hospitals and states are scrambling to adopt a new coronavirus reporting system after HHS instructed them to report data to HHS directly through a new portal. Reports have indicated that some states are now in the dark about the severity of their own coronavirus outbreak. We cannot possibly stop the spread of COVID-19 and provide states with the tools they need to recover if all our nation’s leaders do not have access to accurate data.

“Additionally, CDC is now weakening the standards for the reopening of schools after Director Redfield seemingly caved to the demands of the Trump administration and Secretary DeVos. The recently released document from CDC reads more like a campaign platform than scientific, public health guidance.

“I implore the administration to put aside the election and start putting the health and wellbeing of the people first.”