Schiff drafting legislation to set up 9/11-style commission to review coronavirus response
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) is drafting legislation that would set up an independent commission that would investigate why the country was unprepared for the coronavirus pandemic.
“After Pearl Harbor and 9/11, we looked at what went wrong to learn from our mistakes,” the House Intelligence Committee chairman said in a tweet. “Once we’ve recovered, we need a nonpartisan commission to review our response and how we can better prepare for the next pandemic.”
Schiff did not give specifics regarding when the legislation will be dropped, but suggested it would be after Congress finishes the task at hand: mulling a series of stimulus packages aimed at alleviating the economic impact of the pandemic. Sources familiar with the legislation told NBC News the legislation is “very preliminary.”
“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,” Schiff told The Washington Post. “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.”
The administration has come under scrutiny in the past month for what critics call a late response to the virus. Critics have also pointed out that in 2018 the administration disbanded the National Security Council unit focused on pandemic preparedness.