With more than 600,000 people killed in the United States from COVID-19 and lingering questions about the origin of the virus and the government’s response, there is pressure on Capitol Hill and elsewhere to create an investigative commission similar to the one that examined the attacks on September 11. September 2001.
It was unclear whether such a commission will be created, although a privately-sponsored team of public health experts is already laying the groundwork for an investigation.RELATED
Given that most of the disaster occurred during the presidency of Donald Trump, many fear that politics will interfere in any investigation, as it happened when Republicans rejected the formation of a commission to investigate the attack on the Capitol on January 6 by supporters. of Trump. Others fear that the desire of many to leave the pandemic behind will hamper any investigation.
“I think we have to get to the nitty-gritty, look at the details to see what happened,” said Sabila Khan of New Jersey, whose father, Shafqat Rasul Khan, died of COVID-19. “If it happens again, our loved ones will have died in vain.”
Democratic Senator Bob Menendez and Republican Senator Susan Collins have proposed creating a commission of inquiry.
Their task would include examining the origins of the virus, preliminary indications and other communications with foreign governments, coordination between federal, state and local agencies, the availability of medical supplies, public health testing and surveillance, the development and distribution of vaccines, the uneven effect on minorities and government aid policies.
“The death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic is more than 200 times that of the September 11 attacks, but Congress has not yet created a similar special commission to investigate the weaknesses of our public health system and issue guidelines. on how we can better protect the American people from future pandemics, ”Menendez and Collins wrote this week in The New York Times.