On Wednesday, the House Investigative Committee will hold its initial hearing on wasteful spending during the epidemic.
The committee’s chairman, Rep. James Comer (R-KY), announced the meeting last week in an effort to look into the “rampant misuse” of tax funds for pandemic relief initiatives.
Three witnesses are scheduled to give testimony: David M. Smith, Assistant Director of the Office of Investigations for the U.S. Secret Service, and Michael Horowitz, Head of the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee.
According to Comer’s declaration, “We owe it to Americans to determine how hundreds of billions of taxpayer funds spent on pandemic assistance were lost to waste, abuse, fraud, and mismanagement.”
He stated, “Democrats have spent far too little time performing real scrutiny of how that money is being used over the last two years and far too much time on pushing money out the door in the Administration and Congress. With our House GOP majority, that has changed.”
US taxpayers spent $4.1 trillion combating the coronavirus, which many suspects came from a lab that is military-funded in Wuhan, China, according to USASpending.Gov. To combat the virus, lawmakers have set up $4.6 trillion in funds.
Comer concluded: “Under Republican control, the Oversight Committee is resuming its core responsibility to expose waste, abuse, fraud, as well as mismanagement in the federal govt. and hold President Biden responsible.”
President Joe Biden declared the epidemic to be over in September. “The epidemic has ended. Covid continues to be a concern for us. We’re still working hard on it. But the pandemic is finished,” Biden said in an interview with CBS News 60 Minutes.
Others are less certain and think the PHE from the pandemic era should continue to exist, providing the federal govt. further authority. Every 90 days, the PHE has to be renewed. The Biden administration renewed it most recently in January 2023.