Democrats Push For Investigation Into Trump Admin Virus Response, Now HHS IG Has Opened Probe

President Donald J. Trump and Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar listen to a reporter’s question during a coronavirus update briefing Friday, March 20, 2020, in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by D. Myles Cullen)

Democrats have shown that their first priority is always their own political agenda and power, rather than what they’re supposed to be doing, working for the best interests of the American people.

From the beginning they’ve viewed the virus as more of an opportunity to attack President Donald Trump and they’ve spent the time doing that rather than addressing it seriously. That’s why you got attacks about the racial make-up of the White House Task Force and Democrats calling Trump cutting travel with China “racist” or “xenophobia.”

Democrats have now even blocked a virus relief bill in the Senate for three days. Then when it finally passed the Senate, the House decided rather than voting on it, they’d spend about 115 seconds looking at it, then they adjourned for the day on Wednesday.

Every day they don’t pass the relief bill, there are more businesses likely to go under and more people who may lose their jobs because of the restrictions because of the Wuhan coronavirus.

Now, on top of all that, Democrats have precipitated an investigation into the Trump administration’s HHS response to the virus outbreak even as the pandemic is still going on.

Great, exactly what HHS really need right now, now they also have to waste time dealing with this because of Democrats.

The Health and Human Services Department’s Inspector General’s office has announced that they will be looking into the response.

From Washington Examiner:

A spokesperson for the HHS inspector general told the Washington Examiner that investigators will carry out at least five reviews “related to HHS’s planning and response of the COVID-19 outbreak.” The inquiries will scrutinize issues such as nationwide hospital responses, quarantine procedures, the training and protective gear provided to front-line health workers, nursing home standards amid a disease with an exponentially more deadly effect on the elderly and the already ill, and the ability to care for illegal border crossers and refugees during a public health crisis. [….]

The office compromises 1,600 auditors, investigators, lawyers overseeing dozens of programs run by agencies, including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Administration for Children and Families, the Food and Drug Administration, and the National Institutes of Health — all of which have played a role in the government’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak that has rattled the U.S. health system.

There were initial delays with testing because of a manufacturing defect in the production of the initial test kit. Then there was also an issue dealing the FDA regulations that then wouldn’t allow a work around, such as state labs using their own tests that hadn’t been approved by the FDA.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House coronavirus task force, explained the problems with the tests.

“You know, it was a complicated series of multiple things that conflated that just, you know, went the wrong way,” Fauci said. “One of them was a technical glitch that slowed things down in the beginning. Nobody’s fault. There wasn’t any bad guys there. It just happened … We’ve got it right, now, because we’re handing much of it over to the private sector to heavy hitter companies that do this for a living. And I think what you’re going to be seeing looking forward is a major, major improvement in the availability of testing.”

There have now been close to half a million tests given, over 472,000 tests, which Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House Task Force response coordinator, said was more than even South Korea.

An HHS whistleblower claimed last month that more than a dozen healthcare workers who evaluated the first Americans arriving back in the U.S. from Wuhan, China, where the virus originated, did not have the appropriate training or personal protective equipment to treat possible COVID-19 patients safely. The Democrat-led House Ways and Means Committee sent letters to HHS and the HHS watchdog seeking an investigation.

Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, a state hit hard early by the coronavirus including deadly nursing home outbreaks, sent a letter to the HHS inspector general last week asking for an immediate investigation “into all parts of the processes undertaken by the Department of Health and Human Services to develop, deploy, and analyze diagnostic tests.”

The IG said that it would provide information on how HHS could support hospitals dealing with the disease, whether facilities that got Medicare or Medicaid funds were in compliance with disease preparedness, whether people were properly trained and protected when facing potential exposure, preparedness at unaccompanied immigrant children facilities and how prepared they were in their ongoing response efforts.

The HHS Secretary Alex Azar said they made vital moves by cutting off travel that helped slow the spread of the disease. Dr. Anthony Fauci, a member of the White House Task Force and the director of NIAID, said in his opinion the response had been “impressive” with “all hands on deck.”