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Sunday, October 24th, 2021

Democratic Congress members raise concerns over impact of executive orders on preparedness for pandemic flu outbreak

A group of Democratic members of Congress recently sent a public letter to Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price and the acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), questioning how actions by the Trump Administration could harm the CDC’s preparedness in the event of a pandemic flu outbreak.

The letter was signed by U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Patty Murray (D-WA), and U.S. Reps. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Gene Green (D-TX), and Diana DeGette (D-CO).

The letter specifically cites the Administration’s proposal to abolish the Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF) as part of its repeal of the Affordable Care Act. The letter also makes note of the lack of appointed public health officials and the President’s executive order imposing a government hiring freeze as another cause for concern.

The letter also brings attention to President Trump’s executive orders imposing a regulatory freeze and his history of making false statements about vaccine safety.

A questionnaire was sent along with their letter, asking for information regarding the impacts of the president’s executive order in the event of a pandemic flu outbreak. Additionally, the letter questions how the administration’s immigration ban from six Muslim-majority countries might affect CDC employees, as well as the agency’s ability to collaborate internationally on pandemic preparedness.

The members requested that Secretary Price and the CDC acting director respond to the letter no later than March 27.