A bipartisan group of senators said Tuesday they are seeking a “9/11-style commission” to investigate how the COVID-19 pandemic began, the U.S. government’s response and ways to prevent a similar tragedy.
Sen. Roger Marshall, Kansas Republican, said a bipartisan commission is “long overdue” as the nation grapples with a virus that’s killed over 750,000 people in the U.S. and millions more around the world.
” As a physician, we must know the whereabouts, how and why of every diagnosis. For this reason, it couldn’t be more important that we determine the origins of this infectious disease outbreak in order to ensure nothing like this ever happens again,” Mr. Marshall said.
Republican Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa, and Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein from California and Kirsten E. Gilibrand from New York both cosponsored legislation to create this commission.
” As the risk of major pandemics rises due to globalization, climate change and globalization, we must learn from this pandemic to make sure we are prepared for future outbreaks,” said Ms. Feinstein. “This bipartisan commission will make sure we learn from the past 18 weeks so that the terrible human suffering and economic devastation we have endured does not happen again .”
The bill is modeled on the so-called “9/11 Commission” that was set up in 2002 to fully examine the 2001 terror attacks and look at ways to prevent future attacks.
The COVID commission will examine the government’s response to the pandemic. This includes its ability to procure supplies, develop treatments, vaccines, and test them. It will examine whether public-health messages were effective, resonated with all communities and the risk of stigma following the comments by Asian communities that sloppy descriptions of the origins of the virus in China caused harassment and discrimination.
The commission will review U.S. cooperation abroad because of the pandemic and determine if the country’s health system is sufficiently prepared for major health crises.
“We simply cannot wait for the next crisis to hit — we must create a 9/11-style COVID-19 commission to prepare a comprehensive health and national security strategy to protect and equip the United States in the event of another devastating emergency,” Ms. Gillibrand said.
Republican sponsor said that it was important to examine the history of the virus, and the intense debate about whether or not it came from nature.
“The COVID-19 outbreak that emerged in Wuhan, China, nearly two years ago put the world into an unprecedented global lockdown, and to this day, the origins of the pandemic remain a mystery as China refuses to fully cooperate with international fact-finding efforts,” Ms. Ernst said. “The American people deserve answers. That’s why I joined my colleagues across the aisle and created a bipartisan commission in order to find the root cause of the pandemic once for all .
Federal researchers have claimed that a federal grantee failed to detail one of its projects as required by the grant. They insist that it is biologically impossible that that project could be linked to coronavirus, which is currently afflicting the world.