Schiff Wants a Nonpartisan Commission to Review the US Coronavirus Response

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) is working on a bill that will establish a nonpartisan commission to review the United States’ response to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a tweet on Wednesday, Schiff likened the commission to the commissions established after the Pearl Harbor and Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The California lawmaker wrote, “After Pearl Harbor and 9/11, we looked at what went wrong to learn from our mistakes.”

He continued, “Once we’ve recovered, we need a nonpartisan commission to review our response and how we can better prepare for the next pandemic. I’m working on a bill to do that.”

Schiff linked to The Washington Post column published on Tuesday night that outlined a loose version of that plan.

He told the Post, “We will need to delay the work of the commission until the crisis has abated to ensure that it does not interfere with the agencies that are leading the response,” adding, “But that should not prevent us from beginning to identify where we got it wrong and how we can be prepared for the next pandemic.”

After Pearl Harbor, The Roberts Commission investigated the bombing. The commission was headed by a Supreme Court associate justice — who was appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and found that a Navy admiral and an Army general failed to act.

The Sept. 11 commission (technically called the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States) was a bipartisan commission formed under the signature of President George W. Bush. The group issued a massive report recommending over 40 national security changes and found that a “failure of imagination” kept the United States from understanding the threat.

After repeatedly downplaying the threat of the coronavirus, saying that “it’s going to disappear” and it may “miraculously go away” by April, President Donald Trump has taken a more serious tone on the pandemic.

In a press conference on Tuesday, he said, “We’re going to go through a very tough two weeks.”

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