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Press Release

Burgess Calls on Eshoo to Hold Hearing on Racial Disparities in COVID-19 Outcomes


05.12.20

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Health Republican Leader Dr. Michael Burgess (R-TX) sent a letter to Subcommittee Chairwoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA) to call for a hearing on racial disparities reported in COVID-19 outcomes.

With a wide jurisdiction over the health sector and federal agencies directly involved in the response efforts to the COVID-19 pandemic, the committee has a responsibility to actively examine through hearings how to improve efforts to fight COVID-19, as well as conduct oversight as resources provided by Congress are being deployed.

Today, Burgess called on Eshoo to hold a hearing to discover why communities of color have been disproportionally impacted by the coronavirus.

“We should take this historic time to lead in the bipartisan tradition of the Energy and Commerce Committee by working together to examine these pressing issues and identifying meaningful solutions to ensure that no one is left behind in this pandemic. All communities should receive the same prevention, testing, and treatment services, regardless of race, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, or creed,” wrote Burgess.

Like identifying and addressing disparities in health outcomes between communities, there are many opportunities to conduct essential work on bipartisan issues to improve response efforts to this pandemic that is claiming lives. However, the Health Subcommittee is wasting precious time and resources this week to conduct a partisan hearing on a whistleblower complaint that was only made public days ago, rather than examine urgent issues like how to close this COVID-19 health gap.

Whistleblowers should be heard, and there are mechanisms to conduct thorough nonpartisan investigations. The committee should let that process work.

“Studies have found that communities of color will be the most deeply impacted by the economic damage caused by the pandemic. These communities already face economic hardships and a further slowdown of the economy will only worsen those effects. Yet, instead of focusing on how to address these challenges, this Committee has chosen to hold a partisan hearing that is focused on criticizing the Administration and scoring election-year points,” continued Burgess.

CLICK HERE to read the letter.

Background:

In addition to today’s request to hold a hearing on COVID-19 racial disparities, Burgess has asked Eshoo to conduct bipartisan hearings on crucial issues to help with COVID-19 response.

On May 8, 2020 Burgess requested Eshoo to hold a hearing on the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS).

On May 11, 2020 Burgess requested Eshoo to hold a hearing on COVID-19’s impact on mental health.


Subcommittees
Health (116th Congress)

Issues
COVID-19
Press Release