American Oversight’s Covid-19 Oversight Hub provides news and policy resources to help you keep track of investigations into the government’s pandemic response. The project brings together a public documents database, an oversight tracker of important ongoing investigations and litigation, regular news updates, and deeper dives into key issues.
For the latest news on the pandemic, as well as updates on various oversight investigations, sign up for our weekly Covid-19 Oversight News email.
Vaccines Open to All Americans
As of Monday, all adults in every U.S. state are eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccine, and about half of all adults have received at least one dose. As the more contagious B117 coronavirus variant continues to spread, medical professionals have noted that more young people, many of whom are not vaccinated, are being hospitalized. Health experts are urging all American adults to get their shots, especially in light of this spread.
Obstacles Ahead in the Vaccination Race
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration recommended halting the administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, after reports that rare blood clots had been found in six of the nearly 7 million people who have received it. It remains unclear whether the vaccine was responsible for these clots. On Wednesday, a CDC advisory committee convened to discuss the pause, and opted to wait to make a recommendation about the vaccine’s future use until they had more information to assess the vaccine’s risks. Fauci has said he expects a decision to be made when the committee meets again this week, on April 23.
Other hurdles are ahead. Federal officials are concerned about the appearance of falsified vaccination cards, which individuals could use to gain access to reopened schools or businesses even if they have not received the vaccine. Currently, there is no national digital system for tracking vaccinations, making it difficult for third parties to determine whether a card is legitimate. States are also reporting vaccine surpluses, reflecting slowing demand even though notable sections of the population remain unvaccinated. America’s vaccine surpluses have elicited criticism abroad, with a new study showing the U.S. could have up to 300 million extra vaccine doses by the end of July, even while much of the world faces long waits.
At Hearing, Fauci Warns of a Resurgence
On April 15, Dr. Anthony Fauci testified before the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis. In a heated exchange with Rep. Jim Jordan, Fauci warned that the current level of coronavirus infections remains high, saying, “Right now, we have about 60,000 infections a day, which is a very large risk for resurge.” He recommended easing restrictions only when daily infections drop to 10,000, and emphasized that he could not give an exact date for when the country would return to “normal” again.
Hearing witnesses also included CDC Director Rochelle Walensky and David Kessler, the Biden administration’s chief science officer for coronavirus response. Walensky said that the CDC will be committed to transparency as it investigates any possible risks associated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Report: Assessing Initial Vaccine Implementation
In a new report, the GAO reviewed Covid-19 vaccine availability and initial vaccine administration. Stakeholders interviewed by the GAO said that states faced challenges during initial vaccine implementation and did not always have information critical for local distribution, such as how many doses would be received and when. The report detailed actions the federal government has taken to improve the vaccine rollout, including creating new vaccination sites and helping vaccine companies expand manufacturing capacity.
Part of Investigation: