In letters obtained by CNN to White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain and acting head of Health and Human Services Norris Cochran, House Majority Whip James Clyburn alleges the Trump administration “refused to cooperate” with inquiries from the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis; that HHS blocked documents and witnesses related to the response to the virus; and that Trump officials “failed to fully comply with two subpoenas and at least 20 document requests” by the committee.
Clyburn requested both Biden administration officials submit documents from January 1, 2020, to Inauguration Day to the committee by March 1 on “all organizational charts and staff lists” related to the White House’s coronavirus pandemic response, documents regarding “public health guidance, plans, or proposals” about the pandemic and weekly reports from the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
CNN has reached out to the White House, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HHS and FDA for comment Monday.
He also requested documents related to coronavirus testing, the number of coronavirus hospitalizations and infections in the US, coronavirus data collections, herd immunity strategy, coronavirus vaccines and treatments, efforts by political appointees or White House personnel “to review, revise, edit, delay, or prohibit publication of any Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report or other CDC reports” about the virus, “any adverse employment action taken or considered” against employees, officials or federal contractors related to the pandemic.
In December, the committee subpoenaed then-HHS Secretary Alex Azar and then-CDC Director Robert Redfield for documents related to their investigation into alleged political interference. They warned the Trump administration officials that they had until December 30 to produce all the emails and communications related to the publication of a series of scientific reports. The committee first requested the documents in September, and Democrats said then they hit a roadblock with HHS and CDC in getting the documents and interviews needed complete their work.
CNN’s Jacqueline Howard, Lauren Fox and Manu Raju contributed to this report.