Pandemic Response Report is a weekly newsletter about America’s response to the coronavirus pandemic from Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis (SSOCC) Republicans. 

What’s Important

Biden Pledged Independent CDC but Allows Powerful Union to Influence School Guidance: President Biden pledged the CDC would be free from political influence but new emails show the American Federation of Teachers successfully lobbied the CDC and even suggested language for its school reopening guidance issued earlier this year.

Lockdowns and School Closures Harming Working Mothers: Democrat lockdowns, ongoing school closures, and virtual learning are harming working mothers’ careers and financial situations. In March 2021, there were almost 1.5 million fewer moms of school-aged children actively working than in February 2020, and a new poll found that a quarter of women say their financial situation is worse today than before the lockdowns began.

Cuomo Coverup Coverage Continues: Last week the New York Times reported New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s efforts to cover-up nursing home deaths “was far greater than previously known.” His most senior aides took measures to hide the true death toll and data and delay the release of an audit.

Relief Radar

Progressive Policies Hinder Americans from Going Back to Work: In just 100 days, President Biden proposed $6 trillion in new spending and $3.4 trillion in new taxes on Americans. Instead of the cooperation and compromise promised on the campaign trail, President Biden continues to put the progressive agenda ahead of bipartisanship. Despite all this deficit spending and the fact that over 50 percent of eligible Americans have had one shot, Democrat proposals simply lead to workers choosing to stay on the government payroll instead of finding a job. A March 2021 National Federation of Independent Business survey of small businesses found that 42 percent of small businesses have job openings they are unable to fill. That is a record high percentage. President Biden’s policies make it more lucrative for a worker to sit on their couch and collect enhanced unemployment than return to the workforce.

Crisis Corner

Lockdowns and School Closures Harming Working Mothers: Democrat lockdowns, ongoing school closures, and virtual learning are harming working mothers’ careers and financial situations. A principal economist and senior advisor at the Census Bureau recently stated there were almost 1.5 million fewer moms of school-aged children actively working in March 2021 than in February 2020. Bureau of Labor Statistics also show women’s participation in the workforce fell to 1980’s levels. Additionally, a new Washington Post-ABC poll found that a quarter of women say their financial situation is worse today than before the lockdowns began. Several of the women polled told the Washington Post they were forced to leave jobs to care for children or take lower-paying jobs that provided more flexibility.

President Biden and Vice President Harris have called the lack of women participating in the workforce a “national emergency” but refuse to take the steps needed to end this crisis. Instead, the Biden Administration has caved to the teachers unions instead of following the science to fully reopen America’s schools and the CDC even allowed the teachers union to influence its school reopening guidance.

Democrat Hypocrisy Alert

Cuomo Coverup Coverage Continues: If it wasn’t bad and criminal enough already, last week the New York Times reported New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s efforts to cover-up nursing home deaths “was far greater than previously known.” His most senior aides took measures to hide the true death toll and data and delay the release of an audit. Meanwhile, Governor Cuomo was pitching and writing his book on leadership. Enough is enough. It’s past time for Governor Cuomo to be held accountable for his must-admit order and subsequent cover-up.

Biden Pledged Independent CDC but Allows Powerful Union to Influence School Guidance: President Biden pledged the CDC would be free from political influence but new emails show the American Federation of Teachers successfully lobbied the CDC and even suggested language for its school reopening guidance issued earlier this year. According to emails obtained by the New York Post, there are at least two instances where suggestions offered by the union to weaken reopening guidance were included in the final CDC report. Select Subcommittee Democrats previously wrote seven times about political interference at the CDC and even issued a subpoena. However, they remain silent on the teachers union’s political influence over the CDC’s school reopening guidance.

Biden Blunders

Migrants Still Not Being Tested at the Border: Drs. Fauci and Walensky recently testified that the Biden Administration is not following CDC guidance at the border, and this public health concern has not been corrected. Recent media reporting shows U.S. Customs and Border Protection is still not testing migrants who arrive at the border. Republican Whip and Select Subcommittee Ranking Member Steve Scalise (R-La.) has called on Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to provide a plan to address this public health crisis, but DHS has not responded.

Biden Empowers Cuomo to Lead COVID Calls: Despite more information revealing the extensive measures Governor Cuomo and his aides took to cover-up nursing home deaths, the Biden Administration has empowered him to lead weekly COVID-19 coordinating calls. On top of Governor Cuomo’s cover-up, New York has had the worst COVID infection and fatality rates in the nation. Why is President Biden allowing Governor Cuomo to lead on this issue when he has clearly failed?

This Week in SSOCC

Republicans Continue to Fight to Fully Reopen Schools: President Biden promised to reopen schools in his first 100 days, but he failed to deliver on that promise. Instead, he caved to radical teachers unions and their unscientific demands rather than follow the science and listen to the experts to fully reopen classrooms. During President Biden’s joint address last week, he didn’t even mention reopening schools. Republicans on the Select Subcommittee continue to fight for America’s families and students and won’t stop until kids are back at school in-person, five days a week.

What They’re Saying

Cuomo Aides Spent Months Hiding Nursing Home Death Toll (New York Times)

“The effort by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s office to obscure the pandemic death toll in New York nursing homes was far greater than previously known, with aides repeatedly overruling state health officials over a span of at least five months, according to interviews and newly unearthed documents. Mr. Cuomo’s most senior aides engaged in a sustained effort to prevent the state’s own health officials, including the commissioner, Howard Zucker, from releasing the true death toll to the public or sharing it with state lawmakers, these interviews and documents showed. A scientific paper, which incorporated the data, was never published. An audit of the numbers by a top Cuomo aide was finished months before it became publicly known. Two letters, drafted by the Health Department and meant for state legislators, were never sent. The actions coincided with the period in which Mr. Cuomo was pitching and then writing a book on the pandemic, with the assistance of his top aide, Melissa DeRosa, and others.”

A quarter of women say they are financially worse off a year into pandemic, Post-ABC poll finds (Washington Post)

“A quarter of women say their family’s financial situation is worse today than before the coronavirus-related shutdowns began in March 2020, compared to 18 percent of men … Women have also borne the majority of the child-care responsibilities as schools and day-care centers shuttered and classes moved online, requiring additional parental involvement. In follow-up interviews, several women told The Post they were forced to leave jobs to care for children, or they had to take lower-paying jobs that gave them more flexibility. A few women also cited rising costs of rent and food, which caused some to fall behind on bills even if they were able to keep their jobs.”

Nearly 1.5 Million Mothers Are Still Missing From the Workforce (Wall Street Journal)

“In March 2021, almost 1.5 million fewer moms of school-aged children were actively working than in February 2020, according to Misty Heggeness, principal economist and senior adviser at the Census Bureau. During the depths of last year’s economic crisis, Bureau of Labor Statistics data show, women’s participation in the workforce fell to levels not seen since the mid-1980s … Factors including access to child care, a lack of attractive jobs, the demands of home and virtual schooling, and health concerns are likely affecting mothers’ employment. The participation rates of women with children under the age of five have fluctuated the most, Census Bureau data show.”

Powerful teachers union influenced CDC on school reopenings, emails show (New York Post)

“The American Federation of Teachers lobbied the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on, and even suggested language for, the federal agency’s school-reopening guidance released in February. The powerful teachers union’s full-court press preceded the federal agency putting the brakes on a full re-opening of in-person classrooms, emails between top CDC, AFT and White House officials show. The lobbying paid off. In at least two instances, language ‘suggestions’ offered by the union were adopted nearly verbatim into the final text of the CDC document. … With the CDC preparing to write that schools could provide in-person instruction regardless of community spread of the virus, Trautner argued for the inclusion of a line reading ‘In the event of high community-transmission results from a new variant of SARS-CoV-2, a new update of these guidelines may be necessary.’ That language appeared on page 22 of the final CDC guidance. The AFT also demanded special remote work concessions for teachers ‘who have documented high-risk conditions or who are at increased risk for … COVID-19,’ and that similar arrangements should extend to “staff who have a household member” with similar risks. A lengthy provision for that made it into the text of the final guidance.”

Donations from teachers unions spiked as Congress debated school reopening, virus relief (Roll Call)

“As debates raged earlier this year over reopening schools and including money for education in a massive coronavirus relief package, the nation’s largest teachers unions sharply increased their spending on political contributions, a comparison to the same period in 2019 shows.  The money overwhelmingly went to Democrats, who had just taken control of the White House and the Senate while retaining House control.”

Covid on the Border: Migrants Aren’t Tested on Arrival in U.S. (New York Times)

“As the United States vaccinates larger numbers of people and several states begin to reopen after seeing lower infection rates, the failure of U.S. authorities to test adult migrants for the coronavirus in jam-packed border processing centers is creating a potential for new transmissions, public health officials and shelter operators warn, even among migrants who may have arrived healthy at America’s door. More than 170,000 migrants crossed the border in March — many coming from countries still grappling with high infection rates — but the Border Patrol is conducting no testing for the coronavirus during the several days that the newly arrived migrants are in U.S. custody except in cases where migrants show obvious symptoms.”

Member Mention

Oversight Republicans point out women are leaving the workforce because of President Biden’s failure to fully reopen America’s public schools.

Representative Jodey Arrington (R-Texas) emphasizes the success of Operation Warp Speed to deliver safe and effective vaccines to the American people.

Select Subcommittee Republicans call for Governor Cuomo to be held accountable.

Republican Whip and Select Subcommittee Ranking Member Steve Scalise (R-La.) urges action on the public health crisis at the border.

Oversight Republicans release a video highlighting Republican efforts to reopen schools.