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Reps. Garamendi, Takano, and Peters Release Joint Statement After HHS Health Officials Fail to Provide Timely Briefing on HHS Whistleblower Complaint on Coronavirus Response

Washington, D.C. – Today, Reps. Mark Takano (D-Calif.), John Garamendi (D-Calif.), and Scott Peters (D-Calif.), who represent districts in California where military bases that received evacuees from China are located, released this joint statement after HHS failed to provide them a briefing on the coronavirus response. The Members called for a timely briefing from senior health officials following a whistleblower complaint alleging improper training and procedures for HHS workers handling evacuees from China.

“Following reports that a senior health official at HHS filed a whistleblower complaint alleging improper training, personnel movements, and a lack of safety equipment for HHS workers who handled repatriated Americans from China, we immediately called for a briefing from senior health officials and demanded more information on these allegations. We are very concerned by the administration’s failure to schedule a timely briefing with us and provide us with the latest developments on the federal government’s response to coronavirus.

“As the representatives of military bases and communities that housed repatriated Americans and given the threat that these serious allegations may pose to public health, we need answers. We called for this briefing because during these difficult times, our constituents and the American people deserve a proactive, level-headed response and honesty from the federal government. So far, the Trump Administration’s response does not give us confidence that they are equipped to manage a potential pandemic or that they are taking this situation as seriously as it demands.

“We will continue demanding a briefing from HHS and the CDC and will relay any new information we learn once that happens.”


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