Ways and Means Leaders Seek Additional Information from HHS Regarding Whistleblower Allegation
WASHINGTON, DC – After receiving an inadequate reply from the Trump Administration to a February 27 letter, leaders on the Ways and Means Committee requested that U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar provide additional information regarding a recent whistleblower allegation concerning the alleged improper deployment of Administration for Children & Families (ACF) employees in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19). Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA), Worker and Family Support Subcommittee Chairman Danny K. Davis (D-IL), Oversight Subcommittee Chairman John Lewis (D-GA), Health Subcommittee Chairman Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), and Ways and Means Member Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-CA) all signed the letter.
“We appreciate that the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) is investigating the whistleblower’s allegation and understand that the investigation is not yet complete,” wrote the members. “Despite providing some information, your response did not fully answer several of our questions that we expected HHS should have been able to answer even before the investigation was undertaken.”
The members posed a series of questions to Secretary Azar about the deployment of ACF personnel to quarantine sites. Specifically, they asked whether the deployed ACF employees – who generally do not respond to infectious disease outbreaks – received necessary training prior to working with coronavirus evacuees, whether potentially exposed ACF employees have been subsequently monitored or tested for coronavirus, and what the intended use is of emergency ACF funding that HHS requested in response to coronavirus.
Full text of the members’ letter and an additional list of detailed questions the members attached to their letter are available HERE.
The letter HHS sent in reply to Chairman Neal and Rep. Gomez’s initial letter regarding the whistleblower allegation is available HERE.