House panel probes possible White House influence on COVID-19 messaging, actions

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A U.S. House Oversight and Reform subcommittee is investigating whether White House officials have interfered with the pandemic response efforts of federal health agencies.

The Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy sent letters to the CDC and FDA Oct. 5, requesting information and documents about control over public health messaging and agency actions.

"We are particularly concerned that a little-known office within the White House — the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs — is exerting influence over what is supposed to be nonpartisan, scientific messaging," subcommittee Chairman Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., wrote in  letters to the CDC and FDA.

The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, part of the Office of Management and Budget, has power to review the actions of federal agencies. 

In past testimony before Congress, CDC Director Robert Redfield, MD, and FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, MD, have both said their agencies have not been influenced by political pressure, according to CNBC

 

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