House panel subpoenas HHS, CDC chiefs as investigation into Covid response intensifies

President Donald Trump delivers remarks beside HHS Secretary Alex Azar and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield throughout a tour of the Center for Disease Control following a COVID-19 coronavirus briefing in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., March 6, 2020.

Tom Brenner | Reuters

U.S. Health Secretary Alex Azar and the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Robert Redfield, have been subpoenaed by a House panel investigating the Trump administration’s response to the Covid pandemic.

Rep. James Clyburn, chairman of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, mentioned the panel issued the subpoenas Monday, ordering the 2 officers to supply paperwork that Clyburn mentioned present political interference that hindered the nation’s response to the pandemic by Dec. 30.

“The subpoenas were necessary because the Select Subcommittee’s investigation has revealed that efforts to interfere with scientific work at CDC were far more extensive and dangerous than previously known,” Clyburn mentioned in a press release.

The subcommittee additionally launched new emails that present political appointees at HHS making an attempt to intrude with the publication of the CDC’s prestigious Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports, or MMWRs. One string of emails launched Monday by the subcommittee present appointees at HHS, together with then-scientific advisor Paul Alexander, plotting to publicly rebuke a broadcast MMWR.

A draft of that rebuttal, which was by no means printed, claimed the MMWR, which was in regards to the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine, “presents factual information with an agenda” and will “prevent the news from giving the proper coverage of a true ‘miracle cure.'” 

Early within the pandemic, hydroxychloroquine was hailed by President Donald Trump and others as a extremely efficient therapy for Covid-19. The Food and Drug Administration approved its emergency use to deal with Covid, however later walked again the authorization, acknowledging there was proof the drug might really exacerbate some well being situations in Covid sufferers.

Dr. Charlotte Kent of CDC said in an interview with the subcommittee {that a} public rebuttal to the CDC’s MMWR “could undermine confidence in CDC and in the quality of science that is in MMWR.” 

This is breaking information. Check again right here for updates.

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