Senate panel votes for independent probe into COVID-19 response

A senate panel voted 20-2 to establish a bipartisan probe into the government's response to COVID-19, The Washington Post reported March 15. 

The bill was introduced by Sens. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Richard Burr, R-N.C., and requires lawmakers of both parties choose candidates for a 12-member task force. The task force would look into the readiness and response to the pandemic at a local, state and federal level. Although the bill passed the Senate's health, education, labor and pensions committee, it still has to go through both chambers of Congress. 

The bipartisan probe represents the first bipartisan attempt to investigate the government's pandemic response as both Democrats and Republicans have pursued their own investigations. Advocacy groups have also called for cross-party cooperation on a probe, including Marked by COVID, a group for people who lost loved ones during the pandemic. 

"It's about our loved ones, but it's also about something so much bigger — what we expect from our government, how it handles itself [and] rebuilding so that we can be resilient," Kristin Urquiza, co-founder of the group, told the Post.


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