Washington, D.C. – Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Greg Walden (R-OR), Health Subcommittee Republican Leader Dr. Michael Burgess (R-TX), and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Republican Leader Brett Guthrie (R-KY) sent a letter to the Comptroller General of the United States Gene Dodaro to request a technology assessment of COVID-19 contact tracing apps by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
“In the U.S., contact tracing apps have primarily been offered by states. Not much is known about the challenges various states may be facing in implementing the use of these technologies. Challenges that may reduce the effectiveness of these technologies include low adoption rates, testing delays, privacy concerns, and interoperability of the apps. We are also interested in the relationship between testing and state contact tracing programs,” wrote Walden, Burgess, and Guthrie.
This request for an assessment of contract tracing apps adds to E&C Republicans’ work in contact tracing and overall oversight of response efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. Contact tracing was one of the aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic that E&C Republicans studied as part of the Second Wave Preparedness Project. In the first of three pillars of this project, E&C Republicans encourage ideas that could lead to “a more comprehensive surveillance system” – such as wastewater surveillance – which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and colleges are implementing. In the letter, E&C Republican leaders ask GAO to review the application of these apps in other countries as well.
“Further, it has been brought to our attention that some countries have successfully deployed these apps. We are interested in knowing what lessons we can learn from those countries,” continued Walden, Burgess, and Guthrie.
CLICK HERE to read the letter to GAO.