Earlier this year, Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.) and I found ourselves in a unique position to help the country respond to COVID-19 pandemic. In my role as the House Energy and Commerce Committee Republican leader and Rep. Guthrie’s role as Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Republican leader, we—along with Health Subcommittee Republican Leader Dr. Michael Burgess (R-Texas)—help oversee federal departments and agencies like HHS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Food and Drug Administration.
This spring, we launched the Second Wave Preparedness Project to provide recommendations to help better position the country in the fight against COVID-19, especially as we approach flu season.
Every day counts during this pandemic, and the goal of the Second Wave Preparedness Project has been to study every aspect of this pandemic and determine what’s needed to save lives, resources and time. Developing policy recommendations in the middle of a pandemic in some ways felt like we were building the plane as we were flying it, but my committee has a long, bipartisan tradition of working to better prepare the country for emergencies. Last year, we sent the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act to President Donald Trump for his signature, which reauthorized critical public health preparedness and response programs.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Trump administration has worked around the clock to harness public and private sector resources. Through Operation Warp Speed—a whole-of-government effort combined with the power of private sector innovation to develop and then deliver millions of doses of a vaccine to Americans—we’re seeing record progress being made toward a vaccine.