Schumer And Murray: We Need Immediate Answers From FDA And CDC Regarding Dangerous Political Interference

September 2, 2020

Schumer And Murray: “After So Many Examples Of Political Interference At FDA And CDC Over The Past Few Weeks, We Shouldn’t Let Several More Weeks Pass Before We Get Answers. We Are Losing Valuable Time To Prevent Costly Mistakes.” 

Senators Vow To Keep Pressing FDA And CDC About Political Interference  

Washington, D.C. Today, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) released the following statement on the urgent need for the HELP Committee to hear from Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Robert Redfield to thoroughly examine how political interference from the Trump Administration has impacted the agencies’ work in response to COVID-19. The statement from the Senators comes following the announcement that the HELP Committee will have a hearing with Dr. Hahn and Dr. Redfield later this month, but that they won’t be at a hearing next week, despite the fact that the hearing is focused on key vaccines issues in which both CDC and FDA play critical roles.

“While we’re glad that, following pressure from Democrats, a Senate hearing has finally been announced with the FDA Commissioner and CDC Director, they should be testifying much sooner. After so many examples of political interference at FDA and CDC over the past few weeks, we shouldn’t let several more weeks pass before we get answers. We are losing valuable time to prevent costly mistakes.

“The American people need immediate answers from the leaders of these critical public health agencies about how they plan to protect their work on COVID-19 from political interference in the months ahead. That’s why Democrats are going to continue pressing Dr. Hahn and Dr. Redfield, both at the HELP hearing and in the weeks ahead of it, to explain exactly how they will stand up to further attempts by President Trump to interfere in the COVID-19 response and prevent him from making decisions based on his own political benefit and without consideration of public health needs.”

Democrats have repeatedly emphasized the need to address political interference. Last week, Senator Murray and Senator Schumer sent a letter to Secretary Azar warning that the Administration’s political interference with public health agencies was undermining the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and Senator Murray’s fellow HELP Committee Democrats sent a letter to her and HELP Chairman Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) urging the Committee “immediately call” Dr. Hahn and Dr. Redfield to testify.