On June 7, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing titled, “Looking Back Before Moving Forward: Assessing CDC's Failures in Fulfilling its Mission.” The hearing featured witnesses from The Public Health Company; the U.S. Government Accountability Office; University of California, San Francisco; and the American Public Health Association. No witnesses from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were present at the hearing.
Prior to the hearing, the CDC sent a letter in response to the subcommittee’s request for information on the agency’s Moving Forward initiative as subcommittee Chair Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) stated in his opening remarks. Subcommittee members clashed on who should be held responsible for the public’s skepticism towards public health and the confusion around public health guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic. In a key exchange, committee Chair Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (R-Wash.) voiced reservations around the CDC’s request for additional data authorities, citing privacy concerns. Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) disputed the chair’s comments and questioned the feasibility of making improvements at the CDC due to “fundamental” disagreements among committee members and “different conclusions about what to do.”