House Democrats keep Trump focus with COVID-19 response probe

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House Democrats’ penchant for investigating President Donald Trump is not slowing down — despite there being a new administration.

Democrats on the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis sent a letter to White House chief of staff Ron Klain and Health and Human Services acting chief Norris Cochran on Monday, accusing members of the Trump administration of political interference and refusing to cooperate with their coronavirus response probe.

In the letter, House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC), who chairs the House select subcommittee, warned that he was continuing “critical investigations in the 117th Congress in order to understand what went wrong over the last year and determine what corrective steps are necessary to control the virus and save American lives.”

The No. 3 House Democrat went on to accuse the previous White House and agencies reporting to the administration of “blocking documents and witnesses related to the politicization of public health information, testing and supply shortages, vaccine development and distribution, and other critical aspects of the nation’s virus response.”

In a statement through the committee along with the release of the letter, Clyburn justified his continued investigation of the former president and administration.

“These investigations have shown that the previous Administration engaged in a persistent pattern of political interference in the nation’s public health response –interfering with the work of scientists and making decisions that allowed the virus to spread more rapidly in order to advance President Trump’s partisan agenda.”

Committee Chairman James Clyburn listens as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar testifies to the House Select Subcommittee.REUTERS

Clyburn’s endorsement of former Vice President Joe Biden in the 2020 Democratic primary is credited with helping him secure the nomination.

Biden’s general election campaign message was one of unity, pledging to usher the nation away from the era of political division.

Clyburn’s Democratic caucus, however, is pushing forward with their probe, accusing the Republican administration of failing “to fully comply with two subpoenas and at least 20 document requests.”

In a statement following the release of the letter, a White House spokesman said, “We appreciate Chairman Clyburn and the Select Subcommittee’s diligent work to help ensure an effective, science-driven pandemic response on the part of the United States government. The White House is focused on vaccinating the U.S. population efficiently and equitably and slowing the spread of COVID-19.”

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