WASHINGTON, D.C. — House Republican Whip and Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis Ranking Member Steve Scalise (R-La.) and House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.) today called on Democrats to conduct oversight of President Biden and his administration’s failure to shut down the coronavirus as promised. In a letter to Select Subcommittee Chairman James Clyburn (D-S.C.) and Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), the Republican lawmakers outline the Biden Administration’s failure to procure enough COVID tests prior to the holiday season, abandonment of President Biden’s national plan, and sidelining of vaccine experts.
“President Biden’s first year in office was one full of broken promises. He promised to ‘shut down the virus.’ He promised ‘by next Christmas …I think that there’ll be significantly fewer people having to be socially distanced [and] have to wear masks…’ He promised to ‘improve the availability of tests.’ He promised to not ‘demand that [the vaccine] be mandatory.’ And he promised he had a national plan to “get this virus under control.” He failed on all accounts,” wrote Scalise and Comer.
Chairman Clyburn has repeatedly pledged the Select Subcommittee to be “forward looking” and to “look at the totality of the current response,” but Democrats have failed to conduct meaningful oversight of the Biden Administration. For example, the Select Subcommittee held hearings with nine Trump Administration officials in 2020. However, only four Biden Administration officials have testified in 2021, and zero have testified within the past six months. Additionally, the Select Subcommittee publicly sent 31 letters to Trump Administration officials in 2020 and only 10 to the Biden Administration in 2021.
“Democrats’ failure to conduct real oversight of the Biden Administration’s woefully inept response to the ongoing pandemic is unequivocally a dereliction of duty,” continued Scalise and Comer. “President Biden’s failures have resulted in the United States recording an average of 668,497 cases per day; a record high since the virus hit American shores from China almost two years ago. Tragically, almost 100,000 more Americans died in 2021 than in 2020. This is confounding considering President Biden inherited three safe and effective vaccines, numerous proven treatments and therapeutics, millions with natural immunity, and a well-established testing apparatus. There is no reason for America to be in the position it is in today.”
In the letter, Ranking Members Scalise and Comer call on Chairs Clyburn and Maloney to immediately hold a joint public hearing to conduct oversight of the Biden Administration’s COVID response with Dr. Anthony Fauci, Chief Medical Advisor to the President; Jeffrey Zients, the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator; Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra; CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky; and Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock.
The letter to Chairs Clyburn and Maloney can be found here