GAO: Feds Need to get Their act Together Before Second Coronavirus/Seasonal Flu Wave Hits
Article from For Liberty by Norm Leahy.
The federal government’s multi-trillion dollar response to the coronavirus epidemic was “swift” according to the Government Accountability Office. But all that speed required trade-offs and, the watchdog agency says, “only limited progress has been made so far in achieving transparency and accountability goals.”
In congressional testimony, Comptroller General Gene Dodaro identified a number of areas where government agencies failed to respond effectively to the emergency. Dodaro cited the IRS and the Treasury Department for sending nearly $1.4 billion in relief payments to dead people.
Dodaro also chastised the Department of Transportation for failing “to develop a national aviation-preparedness plan for communicable disease outbreaks.”
The Transportation Department was warned as early as 2015, during the Ebola outbreak, that it needed to create such plans. It still hasn’t done so.
As Betsy McCaughey writes in the New York Post, the Transportation Department “is still squabbling, insisting the job should be done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention instead — travelers be damned.”
Dodaro also faulted the CDC for its botched handling of testing, and for reporting:
…incomplete and inconsistent data from state and jurisdictional health departments on the amount of viral testing occurring nationwide, making it more difficult to track and know the number of infections, mitigate their effects, and inform decisions on reopening communities.
Dodaro said the government needs to get its act together right now. While the initial response was large, and (by government standards) quick:
…much work remains in protecting the health and well-being of Americans, both today and in the coming months, as the nation may be forced to simultaneously confront new waves of COVID-19 infections and seasonal influenza.