House

Clyburn: We may need a 9/11-like commission on COVID-19 response

House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said Thursday that the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic may require a commission similar to the one that investigated the leadup to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Clyburn discussed the idea with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd, following the disclosure of emails in which White House pushed a strategy of “herd immunity” in response to the virus.

“Do you believe we need a 9/11-style commission?” Todd asked, also citing similar bodies like the Iraq War Study Group and the Warren Commission, which investigated the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

“We may,” Clyburn responded. “And I think that that’s something the new administration may need to take a look at. My committee, however, is to provide oversight.”

“And it was in the course of carrying out these responsibilities is when we saw these — or heard the testimonies and now seen some documents that indicate that what the White House was saying was totally different from what was going on,” Clyburn added. “And we have found that to be the case in other instances as well.”

Clyburn is chairman of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, which in October released a scathing report calling the Trump administration’s response to the virus “among the worst failures of leadership in American history.”

Other members of House Democratic leadership have called for such a commission in more explicit terms. In April, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) called for such a commission, explicitly modeled on the 9/11 panel.

“This is not an exercise in casting blame or scoring political points, but something that the American people should rightly expect from their government as an exercise in accountability,” Schiff said in April. “In designing such a commission, I believe that the 9/11 Commission provides an established and proven model, one which Congress should adapt to the purposes of the Coronavirus.”

Tags Adam Schiff Chuck Todd Coronavirus COVID-19 James Clyburn

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