WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), joined Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Patty Murray (D-WA), and 31 of their Senate colleagues in introducing the Science and Transparency Over Politics (STOP) Act. This legislation would create a taskforce to investigate instances of political interference with our nation’s COVID-19 response.
“Over 200,000 Americans have died as a result of the coronavirus, and yet this Administration continues to play politics and interfere with medical and scientific decisions and recommendations,” said Senator Rosen. “We cannot allow this Administration to politicize the actions of our health agencies when lives are on the line. This legislation would investigate and put a stop to instances of political interference at agencies of the Department of Health and Human Services. We must ensure that our nation’s pandemic response and health care decisions are made by medical experts and facts.”
BACKGROUND: The STOP Act would create a task force of the Pandemic Response and Accountability Committee charged with conducting a thorough investigation into any political interference with decisions made by scientific agencies of the Department of Health and Human Services in connection with the pandemic response. These reports would be released to committees of jurisdiction and could be made public so Americans and independent experts can see with full transparency whether scientists were unimpeded in their work or a product was pushed for political reasons. Additionally, the task force would have full discretion to release any information that it deems is in the public interest and may be important to public safety.
The push for additional oversight of the Trump Administration comes following a barrage of alarming instances of Trump officials undermining the work of public health agencies on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.