Guthrie Pushes for COVID-19 Solutions in Committee Leadership Role
Washington, October 13, 2020
Tags: Health Care
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Brett Guthrie (KY-02), top Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, is working with his colleagues to oversee government’s response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“I am honored to serve on the Energy and Commerce Committee, which has broad jurisdiction over many different issues including health care. As the Republican leader of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, my job is to ensure that the Trump administration and states are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic effectively and to work with my colleagues to help ensure Kentuckians have the resources they need to navigate these unprecedented times,” said Guthrie.
Guthrie recently led a hearing on COVID-19 vaccine safety. He is confident that any coronavirus vaccine approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will be safe and effective.
“Ultimately, it will be a vaccine that offers us the best chance to finally end this pandemic, allowing our nation to fully reopen. But it is not just the vaccine itself. In addition to an approved or authorized vaccine, we will need widespread acceptance, distribution, and immunization to successfully combat this virus,” said Guthrie at the hearing.
In addition to advocating for a safe, effective coronavirus vaccine, Guthrie joined House Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Rep. Greg Walden (OR-02) and Health Subcommittee Republican Leader Rep. Michael Burgess (TX-16) in requesting a technology assessment of applications used for contact tracing.
“In the U.S., contact tracing apps have primarily been offered by states. Not much is known about the challenges various states may be facing in implementing the use of these technologies. Challenges that may reduce the effectiveness of these technologies include low adoption rates, testing delays, privacy concerns, and interoperability of the apps. We are also interested in the relationship between testing and state contact tracing programs,” wrote Guthrie, Walden, and Burgess in a letter to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).
Guthrie also joined bipartisan committee leaders, including Walden, full committee Chairman Frank Pallone (NJ-06), and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chair Diana DeGette (CO-01) in pushing for strengthened cybersecurity measures at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
“Given the types of information created, stored, and shared on the information systems owned and operated by HHS, it is important that the agency implement effective incident response handling processes and procedures to address persistent cyber-based threats. Based on the agency’s expressed concern and recent past incidents, we would request that the GAO evaluate HHS’s incident response capabilities,” said Walden, Pallone, Guthrie, and DeGette.