Will a post-COVID-19 government be held accountable? – Press Enterprise

Someone recently asked me when Congress would hold hearings to ensure accountability of government officials who have stalled during the pandemic. After all, there is much to be learned from mistakes made in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, the Federal Reserve, and in the Trump and Biden administrations.

For example, who is to be blamed for state-orchestrated lockdown measures that, in hindsight, were poorly designed, ineffective and incredibly costly? Who at the CDC is being blamed for not detecting the virus sooner by that agency? Which CDC officials will speak to the utter confusion the agency has created through ever-changing messages and policy guidance?

As for the FDA’s failings, there are too many to list. But I don’t hear anyone in power, for example, talking about holding their officials accountable for the continued failure to authorize COVID-19 testing.

Don’t forget the explosion in government spending that stretched well beyond 2020 with no plan for post-crisis fiscal consolidation planned, or the failure of the Federal Reserve to forecast its biggest inflation in decades.

Unfortunately, in all likelihood, no one will be held accountable.

You think I’m exaggerating? Let me remind you that no one was publicly fired when the Presidential Department of Defense spearheaded the disastrous disengagement from Afghanistan, even when we learned that one of its drones accidentally killed a dozen innocent people. Even during the Bush administration, heads didn’t roll when it was revealed that a horde of uncredited CIA advisers were making millions selling ineffective and illegal torture techniques. These agents were activated by bureaucrats from multiple agencies, many of whom still have their jobs. And no one is being fired because of the ongoing fiasco on America’s southern border, where thousands of immigrant families seeking a better life are suffering inhumanely.

Even more depressing is the fact that even if hearings were held and consensus reached on serious errors, it probably wouldn’t change anything. Having testified at dozens of government oversight hearings on Capitol Hill, it seems to me that most are merely drills designed to generate media coverage. Even if a particular program is unanimously judged to be wasteful or underperforming, it almost certainly continues to receive funding.

The best example of this is the Government Accountability Office, which publishes a report on fraudulent payments every few years. The same criminals always seem to be involved in the government programs that make these payments. But nothing happens and the number of fraudulent payments grows.

More recently, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky was questioned by members of the House Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee on Energy and Commerce about the agency’s guidance on continued mask-wearing in schools. Members on both sides of the aisle appeared uncomfortable with school mask mandates, and some noted that the studies used by the agency to justify its continued demands had been debunked. The guidance went against the available evidence and what most other countries were doing with no apparent increase in health risks.


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