The Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reportedly plans to launch multiple investigations into the Trump administration’s coronavirus response, in part because of another whistleblower complaint.
“A spokesperson for the HHS inspector general [said] that investigators will carry out at least five reviews ‘related to HHS’s planning and response of the COVID-19 outbreak,'” the Washington Examiner reported Wednesday.
“The inquiries will scrutinize issues such as nationwide hospital responses, quarantine procedures, the training and protective gear provided to front-line health workers, nursing home standards amid a disease with an exponentially more deadly effect on the elderly and the already ill, and the ability to care for illegal border crossers and refugees during a public health crisis.”
At least one of these investigations will reportedly be driven by a whistleblower complaint filed last month by someone who claimed that the Trump administration may be responsible for triggering some of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S.
Keep in mind that the last whistleblower to make headlines turned out to be a partisan actor whose claims of malfeasance were proven to be false.
State Dept refuting parts of whistleblower’s report after fact-checking https://t.co/B22GDM3Iuc
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) September 27, 2019
“An HHS whistleblower claimed last month that more than a dozen healthcare workers who evaluated the first Americans arriving back in the U.S. from Wuhan, China, where the virus originated, did not have the appropriate training or personal protective equipment to treat possible COVID-19 patients safely,” the Examiner’s report continued.
Those workers then allegedly returned to their respective communities in California and New York, thus potentially spreading the highly contagious virus, or so the whistleblower claimed.
“About 14 personnel from the Administration for Children and Families, or ACF, were sent to March Air Force base in Riverside County, Calif., and another team of about 13 ACF personnel were sent to Travis Air Force in Solano County, Calif., according to the complaint and the whistleblower’s lawyer, Ari Wilkenfeld,” The Washington Post reported late last month.
“In Solano County this week, the first U.S. patient was confirmed to be infected with coronavirus who did not travel to a region where it is spreading or have known contact with someone diagnosed with the disease.”
In response to this coincidence, members of the left-wing media began speculating that the particularly thick “clusters” of coronavirus that’s been seen in Washington and California exist because of the alleged incompetence cited by the whistleblower:
So here’s what appears to be chain of events:
The Trump administration repatriated infected Americans over the objections of the CDC.
HHS then sent federal workers to interact with the infected population without adequate training or protection
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) February 27, 2020
Then those workers went out into the public with no monitoring or testing regime in place.
And now the first US-contracted case has appeared right near one of the airforce bases where this all happened.
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) February 27, 2020
so fairly likely it seems that the dipshit cronies staffing the Trump regime bungled their way into sparking a Covid-19 superflu cluster https://t.co/ZJD9aA9Wca
— ryan cooper (@ryanlcooper) February 27, 2020
Now there’s a reported case of coronavirus transmission in Calif. close to Travis Air Base, where the health workers met passengers and then went their separate ways. The whistleblower is a veteran HHS employee. This will increase scrutiny of decisions by Trump & Alex Azar.
— Edward Wong (@ewong) February 27, 2020
The whistleblower claimed her peers had also complained — albeit not officially — about the purported lack of proper coronavirus protection within the government.
“In a narrative prepared for Congress, the whistle-blower painted a grim portrait of staff members who found themselves suddenly thrust into a federal effort to confront the coronavirus in the United States. The whistle-blower said their own health concerns were dismissed by senior administration officials as detrimental to staff ‘morale.’ They were ‘admonished,’ the complainant said, and ‘accused of not being team players,’ and had their ‘mental health and emotional stability questioned,'” The New York Times reported.
“After a phone call with health agency leaders to raise their fears about exposure to the virus, the staff members described a ‘whitewashing’ of the situation, characterizing the response as ‘corrupt’ and a ‘cover-up,’ according to the narrative, and telling the whistle-blower that senior officials had treated them as a ‘nuisance’ and did not want to hear their worries about health and safety.”
Yet it doesn’t appear any of these “staff members” have filed their own whistleblower complaints …
After word of the whistleblower complaint broke, Democrat lawmakers reportedly began demanding that the HHS OIG investigate the matter.
“I write to request you immediately launch an investigation into all parts of the processes undertaken by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop, deploy, and analyze diagnostic tests for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19),” Sen. Patty Murray of Washington wrote in a letter last week.
“As people in my state and across the country struggle to get answers about the limited supply of tests, long delays in analyzing samples, difficulty obtaining testing supplies, and lack of reporting results, we must understand where HHS has erred in this process and implement lessons learned as soon as possible to mitigate the spread of this infectious disease and future diseases moving forward.”
It’s not clear what will come out of the latest investigations against the Trump administration, though based on past trends, they won’t turn up much at all.
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