The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis has released a new set of findings from its ongoing investigation into the handling of COVID-19 at the federal level. In short, the panel spotlighted how the Trump administration opted to prioritize political concerns amid efforts to respond to the pandemic crisis, and in one example of this turn of events, senior Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) official Dr. Jay Butler indicated that he’d be “haunt[ed]” by certain elements of the situation.
Ethics watchdog American Oversight has sued the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security to compel the release of docs including any comms that top Trump officials may have had with Fox, the Trump campaign, or other proponents of the Big Lie in the weeks surrounding Jan. 6.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) December 17, 2021
In that instance, officials at the CDC were “directed” by the Trump administration to post a version of pandemic-related guidance for faith communities that was more in line with the then-president’s team’s wishes, as explained by a press release from that House panel. As Butler explained things, that updated guidance “softened some very important public health recommendations” to the point of apparently eliminating all references to face coverings — a critical element in the fight against the virus. Butler said that he felt as though the CDC’s efforts on this specific front had been “compromised” by the White House’s interference, adding that “what had been done [by the Trump White House] was not good public health practice.” It’s the possibility of Americans contracting COVID-19 — and dying — in connection to reliance on the flimsy guidelines that Butler said would “haunt” him “for some time.”
'These alleged crimes have nothing to do with the mission of the Republican Party': @Maddow shares reporting from the Washington Post that the RNC is helping former President Trump pay the legal bills for investigations into his personal business. https://t.co/7IxYXbWPLb
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) December 17, 2021
Among other troubling revelations from the House committee in question is that then-President Trump was ‘scheduled to hold a roundtable event at the White House in August 2020 with proponents of a dangerous herd immunity strategy, whom former White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx described as “a fringe group without grounding in epidemics, public health or on the ground common sense experience,”‘ the committee explains. These are the sorts of people who were sharing their supposed insights with the then-president as the nation struggled under the weight of COVID-19 — early numbers showed the virus to be the third-leading cause of death in the United States, behind heart disease and cancer, across 2020. It’s never been just the flu.
.@MaddowBlog: Until now, the criminal dimension of this story has been limited to contempt of Congress — first for Steve Bannon, and soon for Mark Meadows.
But there's no reason to assume the list will end here. https://t.co/1325D46CH7
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) December 17, 2021
There’s a lot more that the House committee in question has to say. In a new report, the panel says that “Trump Administration officials engaged in a staggering pattern of political interference in the pandemic response and failed to heed early warnings about the looming crisis,” noting that “[these] decisions placed countless American lives at risk, undermined the nation’s public health institutions, and contributed to one of the worst failures of leadership in American history.” Read more here.
New: Trump operative Roger Stone just arrived for his deposition before the Jan. 6 committee
— Hugo Lowell (@hugolowell) December 17, 2021