Cuomo, Whitmer call for Congressional investigation into Trump's handling of pandemic

By WCBS Newsradio 880

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has teamed up with Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to call for a Congressional oversight investigation into what they call the Trump administration's politicization of the country's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Cuomo and Whitmer blame President Donald Trump for the high number of coronavirus deaths and infections in the country.

"It is an inarguable fact that the United States has had the worst response to the COVID-19 virus of any nation in the world. Nearly 7 million Americans have tested positive for the virus, and more than 200,000 Americans have been killed by it -- both more than any other country. The unprecedented and unacceptable scale of this tragedy is the direct result of President Trump and the federal government's deceit, political self-dealing, and incompetence," the governors said in a joint statement.

The two allege that Trump put the "health and security" of Americans in the hands of political appointees, instead of health experts and public servants, to help guide his decisions.

They cited a recent Washington Post report that claimed the White House blocked efforts by the Department of Health and Human Services to have the U.S. Postal Service deliver masks to every household back in April.

"Imagine the lives that could have been saved if every household were provided masks at such a crucial time," the governors said.

They also defended their call for an investigation by pointing to recent controversies surrounding the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

On Monday, days after updating its website to state that the coronavirus is mainly airborne, with droplets remaining suspended and traveling more than 6 feet, the CDC announced that they had erroneously posted the guidance.

This came after the CDC dropped controversial guidance which said asymptomatic people need not be tested, even if they've been exposed to someone with COVID-19.

"It's increasingly clear that the President and his advisers are trying to undermine the credibility of experts whose facts run counter to the administration's political agenda," the governors said.

"As a country, we cannot allow this type of politically-motivated decision making to take root," they added. "Logic dictates that COVID won't be the last public health challenge we will face, and we can't afford to again respond by playing politics, instead of listening to the science and facts."

Meanwhile, New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez said this week that he is introducing a bill to create an independent nonpartisan panel to investigate the country's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 9/11-style commission aims to improve the country's readiness for future pandemics.

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