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Watchdog to investigate HHS coronavirus response

Watchdog to investigate HHS coronavirus response
© getty Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar

A government watchdog will investigate the Department of Health and Human Services’s (HHS) coronavirus response efforts.

The HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) on Friday said it will conduct a “comprehensive review” of how the agency has responded to the virus.

“Protecting the health & well-being of people across the country is a mission we take seriously,”  the OIG said in a tweet on Friday. 

The OIG said details of the investigation are still being worked out.

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The statement from the government watchdog comes as lawmakers have been growing increasingly frustrated with the administration’s response to the virus. 

HHS has been under fire for what critics say is an uncoordinated response, and President TrumpDonald TrumpNoem touts South Dakota coronavirus response, knocks lockdowns in CPAC speech On The Trail: Cuomo and Newsom — a story of two embattled governors McCarthy: 'I would bet my house' GOP takes back lower chamber in 2022 MORE has been accused of caring more about the political optics of the stock market falling than protecting public health.

Administration officials from some of the country's top health agencies have been conducting bipartisan and bicameral briefings about the steps being taken so far, but Democrats especially have more questions than answers. 

HHS is also facing allegations from a whistleblower that government employees were sent to handle flights of evacuees returning from China without proper protective gear or training. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are also scrambling to catch up after distributing a faulty diagnostic test to labs across the country.