Elsewhere in Congress: House panel subpoenas for Azar, Redfield CDC documents

Top Trump administration health officials were subpoenaed by House Democrats on Monday, after an investigation showed “extensive” political interference with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“Over a period of four months, as coronavirus cases and deaths rose around the country, Trump Administration appointees attempted to alter or block at least 13 scientific reports related to the virus,” the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis said a letter.

The committee’s chairman, Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), said he is seeking full, unredacted documents from Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar and CDC Director Robert Redfield, after “HHS has made clear that it will not provide a timely and complete response to the Select Subcommittee’s requests on a voluntary basis.”

Clyburn said the subcommittee needs the documents to understand “who in the Trump administration was responsible for this political pressure campaign, whether it was intended to cripple the nation’s coronavirus response in a misguided effort to achieve herd immunity, and what steps must be taken to end this outrageous conduct and protect American lives.”

HHS responds: An HHS spokesperson denied there was any political interference, and said the agency has been “extremely cooperative” with the investigation, having provided the subcommittee with 14,000 pages of documents in the past five weeks.

“While the administration is focused on vaccination shots, the Subcommittee is focused on cheap shots to create headlines and mislead the American people,” the spokesperson said.