For people across the United States, the beginning of March marks a full year since the coronavirus pandemic upended daily life. The Trump administration’s costly mistakes, the consequences of which are still being felt today, demanded aggressive oversight of the government’s response to the crisis.
Over the past year, American Oversight has submitted more than 1,000 public records requests in its investigation of federal and state responses to a pandemic that has taken more than half a million American lives. From the Trump administration’s political interference at science agencies and opportunistic anti-immigration measures to ongoing issues in vaccine distribution and revelations about the impact on vulnerable populations, here is a timeline of the pandemic’s first 12 months and American Oversight’s efforts to hold government officials accountable for their handling of the historic public health crisis.
Federal Response: On Feb. 3, the Trump administration declared a public health emergency and later implemented travel bans on people coming from China, but enacted few other tangible measures. Four days later, President Donald Trump told journalist Bob Woodward, in an audio recording released later in the year, that he “wanted to always play it [the virus] down.” On Feb. 23, Trump told reporters, “We have it very much under control in this country.”
- We obtained documents from February in which a senior adviser at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs projected that Covid-19 could cause as many as 1.7 million deaths in the United States, and cautioned that the nation was “flying blind” in the face of early outbreaks in California. The emails also include concerns from state health officials about impending PPE shortages and other challenges.
Communications Management: On Feb. 28, CNN reported that White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney had sent a government-wide email the day before directing that all coronavirus-related communications go through Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary, Katie Miller. On Feb. 26, the president had put Pence in charge of the Covid-19 response. We sent our first pandemic-related request in response to the news, asking the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for Mulvaney’s email.
Political Interference: From the early days of the pandemic, the Trump White House sought to exercise political control over coronavirus messaging, with Trump in February having threatened to fire Dr. Nancy Messonier, a CDC official who had publicly warned about the dangers of Covid-19.
- In early March, following reports of Mulvaney’s directive and of the White House having told Dr. Anthony Fauci to cancel press appearances, we sent FOIAs to the Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC, the National Institutes of Health, and the Food and Drug Administration seeking White House and HHS directives, orders, and guidance about public statements, website updates, or press strategy — eventually filing a lawsuit for those records in April.
Federal Response: Trump declared Covid-19 a national emergency on March 13, and the coronavirus quickly upended every facet of normal life. The economy reeled, schools closed, and people stayed inside under local stay-at-home orders. Also on March 13, the administration issued a ban on non-Americans traveling from European countries. But the U.S. pandemic response quickly fell behind, as testing rates remained far below other developed countries.
- Trump pressured the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates in an unsuccessful attempt to assuage markets. We requested communications between officials at the Fed and the White House to determine whether and to what extent the Fed’s independence was being undermined.
- We sought all decision memos adopted by HHS, the FDA, and the CDC related to the coronavirus. We also asked those same agencies for communications with companies developing Covid-19 treatments or vaccines.
- As in-person learning shuttered across the country, we sent FOIAs to the Department of Education, asking for directives regarding the spread of Covid-19, top department officials’ communications about Covid-19, and communications with the White House. In November, the department told us it had no records of communications between top agency officials and White House officials involved in the pandemic response.
Testing: The Trump administration failed to ensure timely availability of testing kits for health care providers. We sent requests to multiple agencies, including HHS and the FDA, seeking directives regarding testing. We asked the FDA and the CDC for communications about Covid-19 testing (and sued for those records the next month), and requested HHS, CDC and FDA communications with private labs and organizations that were involved in developing Covid-19 tests.
Medical Supplies and PPE: Records we later received showed top health officials having discussed, amid widespread shortages of personal protective equipment, that N95 masks could not be effectively reused. The records also included February emails from DHS officials about the dangers of virus transmission in crowded detention centers.
- On March 28, the Washington Post reported that states were having trouble getting supplies, so we asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the spreadsheets used to track requests and shipments of national stockpile materials. (View the spreadsheets here.)
- We also asked FEMA for guidance to governors’ offices, assessments evaluating the inventory of critical supplies and the risk of coronavirus spread, and the communications of senior officials.
State and Federal Coordination: On March 5, we sent requests to Washington state, where the first Covid-19 case in the U.S. had been reported. We requested communications between state and federal officials, later obtaining records that showed the federal government repeatedly left state officials confused about White House policies and struggling to coordinate with the CDC. We also received records from March in which Illinois officials expressed deep frustration with the White House for its poor coordination.
Vulnerable Populations: As new reports surfaced regarding fears about Covid-19 in prisons, we asked for top Bureau of Prison officials’ related communications, including with contractors that run private prisons.
- On March 19, we sent requests to the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Office of Refugee Resettlement, and BOP seeking Covid-19 directives and risk assessments, as well as data on Covid-19 in detention centers, and sued for the records in May 2020. We also asked DHS and CBP for directives from the White House on border closures or immigration restrictions.
- We later received records that showed BOP missed key early opportunities to mitigate Covid-19’s spread within its facilities. The documents also suggested that Covid-19 cases among incarcerated people may have been present earlier than publicly reported.
Relief Funds and Loans: On March 27, Trump signed the CARES Act, which allocated $2 trillion in Covid-19 relief.
Influence and Access/Trump Family Business: We began April by investigating how the private sector had influenced the Covid-19 response. Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner had been placed in charge of key aspects of the response and was leveraging relationships with the private sector.
- We sent FOIAs to multiple agencies for briefing materials prepared for Kushner. On April 23, the Wall Street Journal reported that eight private-sector volunteers connected to Kushner had worked at FEMA to help source PPE, so we asked DHS for their emails and nondisclosure agreements. We also asked the Defense Department for emails with or about these individuals.
- We asked the Treasury, the Fed, and the Small Business Administration for communications with outside financial institutions to learn the extent to which the industry was seeking to use the crisis to achieve its own deregulatory goals.
- We investigated the distribution of economic assistance and filed a suite of requests to the SBA regarding assistance programs, seeking analysis about loans granted to companies affiliated with Trump, communications between SBA officials and outside companies lobbying for aid, and White House directives regarding loans.
- On April 21, the New York Times reported that the Trump Organization explored getting an extension on lease payments at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., because of the pandemic. We requested senior GSA officials’ communications with the Trump Organization and the White House.
State Issues and State-Federal Coordination: Trump publicly opposed safety measures imposed by states, leading to multiple public clashes.
- In early April, Trump publicly attacked Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who had been critical of his Covid-19 response.
- After ProPublica received records from Nevada highlighting early chaos at the CDC, we asked Nevada for communications with federal officials about the coronavirus and testing issues. We later obtained records that included CDC guidance on reopening the country, as well as emails about the possibility of a Covid-19 vaccine being available in the fall.
- In light of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ refusal to acknowledge community spread in Florida, we asked his office and the Department of Health for related emails.
- On April 4, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp superseded local ordinances and reopened beaches, leading to criticism from local governments. We asked the governor’s office and counties for related communications.
Elections and Campaigns: While multiple primary elections were set to take place in person in April, some states struggled to adapt elections to the pandemic.
- Georgia, for example, postponed its primary twice, so we sent requests to the Georgia secretary of state regarding the decision, and asked multiple Georgia counties for records regarding changes of election staffing.
- We sued for the records later in the year, and successfully obtained thousands of pages that included Covid-19 “impact surveys” from most Georgia counties, highlighting the operational challenges faced by election officials.
- We sent requests to officials in Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Texas, Ohio, and Wisconsin seeking communications of election officials to shed light on how the pandemic affected election decision-making.
Medical Supplies and PPE: By the first week of April, more than 200,000 Covid-19 cases had been confirmed in the U.S. But states were struggling to get necessary medical equipment.
Business and Industry: Several large meat-processing plants closed after outbreaks among staff. We asked the Department of Agriculture about PPE provided to inspection personnel and communications between senior USDA officials and food industry representatives.
- On April 28, Trump signed an executive order labeling meat-processing plants “critical infrastructure,” thus allowing them to stay open. USA Today reported in September on documents we obtained that showed that one week before the order, industry representatives had provided the administration with a very similar draft order.
Covid-19 Treatments: Trump promoted treatments such as hydroxychloroquine with little evidence, so we asked HHS, the CDC, the FDA, and BOP for related White House guidance and external communications. Records from BOP showed that interest in hydroxychloroquine as a Covid-19 treatment led prison officials to restrict access to the drug, leaving incarcerated people who depended on it to treat long-term illnesses to find alternatives.
Communications Management: Trump continued to promote lifting stay-at-home orders, criticized Fauci, and made dangerous claims about Covid-19 treatments.
- At the end of April, Rick Bright, a respected HHS career official, was dismissed from a key role in the coronavirus response reportedly because he pressed for rigorous vetting of hydroxychloroquine. We asked HHS and the FDA for communications about Bright and his sent emails.
- On April 23, we sued multiple agencies for emails between agency officials and the White House regarding public communications or press strategy.
Federal Response and Political Opportunism: At the beginning of the month, the country had already surpassed 1 million cases. But Trump was ready to move on and began aggressively pushing for the economy to “reopen.”
- After Trump halted funding to the World Health Organization in April, we asked the State Department, the Office of Management and Budget, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and HHS for related assessments and legal analyses, White House directives, and senior officials’ communications.
- On May 6, Trump named Republican fundraiser Louis DeJoy to head the U.S. Postal Service. USPS faced an increasingly dire financial situation, exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, and was facing the possibility of the Treasury Department taking unprecedented control of the agency through the terms of a CARES Act loan. We asked for communications between USPS senior leadership and the White House and the Treasury and impact assessments of coronavirus on key services.
- Also on May 6, we sued the Departments of the Treasury, State, and HHS for coronavirus-related emails sent by two dozen top officials.
- According to documents we later obtained and reporting by the Washington Post, in April USPS leaders had plans to distribute 650 million masks nationwide — but the White House canceled the plan. The documents also included emails from mail carriers and union representatives asking leaders to help protect employees from the coronavirus.
- The Project on Government Oversight reported that the Office of Special Counsel received 31 whistleblower complaints related to coronavirus and the federal response. We asked for those complaints, and later received a spreadsheet indicating that 142 complaints had been filed between March and November. The complaints were submitted to a range of federal agencies, including ICE, the Census Bureau, and the Veterans Health Administration, with the latter facing more than 30 allegations.
- As the pandemic went on, members of the Trump administration — and the president himself — often appeared in public without masks, despite CDC recommendations to do so. We received May emails in which Kushner forwarded what he labeled “interesting intel from a good source” that stressed the importance of masks, saying that “masks really work” and were “the silver bullet in Asia.”
- On May 15, the administration announced Operation Warp Speed, its vaccine-development initiative. We asked for copies of HHS’ contracts with Janssen Pharmaceutica and Moderna, and federal officials’ communications with both companies. That same day, we also sued the CDC and HHS over the CDC’s illegal practice of rejecting valid FOIA requests.
Immigration and Border Issues: The Trump administration used the pandemic as an excuse to push even more draconian immigration policies.
- On May 19, citing the pandemic, the CDC indefinitely extended its March order halting asylums, despite public health experts opposing the move. Earlier reporting had suggested White House Senior Adviser Stephen Miller had long sought to use public health laws as a way to stem immigration. We asked HHS and CDC for communications with White House officials, including Miller, and for White House directives regarding the immigration orders.
- ICE continued deportations that further spread the virus in other countries, notably Guatemala, where formerly detained people made up nearly one in five of the country’s cases. We asked DHS and ICE for assessments regarding the impact of deportations on the spread of coronavirus.
Vulnerable Populations: Despite ICE detention centers emerging as Covid-19 hotspots, the administration transferred individuals between facilities, further spreading the virus. We asked for data and directives from HHS and the CDC regarding transfers.
- We sued DHS, ICE, DOJ, and BOP for records regarding coronavirus mitigation in prisons and detention facilities.
State Issues: On May 28, Covid-19 deaths in the United States surpassed 100,000.
- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio faced significant scrutiny, especially for the slow implementation of preventive measures. We asked for communications of de Blasio and his staff to highlight whether and to what extent they disregarded expert advice.
- On May 25, the governor of North Carolina said he was working with the Republican National Committee to determine whether to hold the Republican National Convention. We requested RNC communications with the governor’s office and the state’s department of health.
Business and Industry: Meat-processing plants continued to be major hotspots. We asked for CDC communications with other federal agencies, the White House, and industry representatives regarding these plants and food safety issues.
- We later obtained documents in which the CEO of Smithfield Foods had emailed CDC Director Robert Redfield to say that the meat industry needed help — even though public reporting indicated that the U.S. was exporting a record amount of pork to China around that time.
Vaccines and Treatments: We asked HHS for communications and contracts with companies working to develop a Covid-19 vaccine, including AstraZeneca.
Influence and Access: USDA created a multibillion-dollar program to distribute food during the pandemic, reportedly spearheaded by Ivanka Trump, which in late May became the subject of concerns regarding contracting decisions. We requested senior USDA officials’ communications about the program, including with involved companies, as well as directives regarding the program.
Trump Family Business: On June 17, we sued DHS, DOD, FEMA, and the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation for communications with Jared Kushner, including records about Kushner’s role in pandemic-response task forces.
Vulnerable Populations: As the coronavirus spread in prisons, incarcerated people were kept nearly constantly in their cells, with hundreds of thousands being held in what often amounted to solitary confinement.
- We asked for communications between Texas and Ohio officials and private prison contractors, as well as communications with state officials and wardens.
- In light of growing fears at ICE facilities, we asked ICE for directives or guidance regarding the criteria used to determine whether to release immigrants. On June 18, we sued DHS and ICE for records related to grievances filed during the pandemic.
- Protests against police brutality broke out across the country, and we asked multiple agencies for records reflecting any coronavirus screening or testing of the federal police who were deployed to multiple cities in response. Records we received from the U.S. Marshals Service reflected no such screenings, and USSS records showed that officers were tested after deployment, but not before.
State Issues: The United States marked more than 2 million confirmed Covid-19 cases, and by mid-June, case numbers were trending upward in more than half of states.
- Coronavirus unleashed a disproportionate toll on nursing home residents and staff. We asked senior public health officials in New York and New Jersey for communications about pandemic management.
Elections and Campaigns: Trump held campaign rallies in multiple localities hit hard by the coronavirus. We asked for assessments or reports by local departments of health in Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, and Oklahoma regarding the projected or actual effects of the campaign rallies on the spread of Covid-19.
- According to records we later obtained regarding an indoor June 19 rally in Tulsa, Okla., health officials estimated that up to nine initial deaths would occur as a direct result.
- In late June, Pence hosted campaign events in Waukesha County, Wis., despite local recommendations against large gatherings. We requested county officials’ communications about the event, including with the Republican National Committee, the Trump campaign, or the White House. Records we received showed that a county official said local restrictions would not be enforced, emboldening the campaign to hold a large, indoor event.
- We sued USPS for the communications of former Postmaster General Megan Brennan, as well as assessments about Covid-19 and voting by mail.
Federal Response: On July 1, the U.S. reported a record 50,000 new Covid-19 cases in one day, and Trump said he hoped that the coronavirus would just “disappear.”
- On July 1, we sued the Treasury Department for records related to the Covid-19 stimulus package.
- We requested the calendars of senior officials at HHS, the CDC, the FDA, NIAID, and other agencies to see how they were spending their time.
- We requested the administration’s records regarding the contract with the insurer UnitedHealth, which had been contracted to disburse $30 billion in relief money to health care providers. Records we later received showed that White House economist Stephen Parente, who had previously consulted for UnitedHealth, was invited to meetings and looped in on emails related to the contracting choice.
Vulnerable Populations: On July 9, the TSA released data that showed that more than 1,000 TSA employees had tested positive for Covid-19, after a whistleblower described how TSA failed to protect its staff. We requested records from TSA seeking directives regarding Covid-19 safety and the communications of senior officials.
Elections and Campaigns: After multiple Secret Service officers contracted Covid-19 as a result of Trump’s and Pence’s travel to campaign events, we asked the Secret Service for guidance regarding the mitigation efforts, assessments about the impact of presidential travel on the spread of Covid-19 among officers, and data about Covid-19 cases among officers. In August, the agency told us it had no records or reports tracking the travel’s effect on officer case numbers.
Political Opportunism: On July 31, American Oversight sued the Commerce Department and the Census Bureau for records related to the pandemic’s impact on the implementation of the 2020 census. The lawsuit came amid reports that the Census Bureau planned to end its outreach a month earlier than planned, potentially decreasing the accuracy of the count and benefiting Trump’s political party.
Vaccines and Treatments: On Aug. 6, Trump said that a vaccine could be approved before the November election. On Aug. 11, we requested that HHS, the CDC, and the FDA provide records of top officials’ communications with Operation Warp Speed officials, some of whom had potential conflicts of interest.
Education and Immigration: While the virus spread in schools that resumed in-person learning, the federal government reportedly was not keeping track of cases.
Political Interference: The end of summer saw growing concerns about the politicization of science agencies, when FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn repeated Trump’s inaccurate talking points about convalescent plasma treatments. We requested the internal and external communications of three FDA political appointees and also asked for communications related to the FDA’s emergency authorization of convalescent plasma as a Covid-19 treatment, despite lack of scientific consensus.
- On September 12, Politico reported that HHS spokesperson Michael Caputo, who had been appointed by Trump in the spring, tried to interfere with the CDC’s scientific morbidity and mortality reports. We requested Caputo’s calendars, communications with the White House, and communications with CDC officials.
- In late August, the CDC had shocked health experts when it posted revised guidelines for coronavirus testing, which said that individuals without symptoms need not be tested even after being exposed to someone with the virus. On Sept. 17, the New York Times reported that those guidelines had been posted over the objections of career scientists, and on Sept. 18, the CDC reversed them. We asked the CDC for all related communications.
- Also on Sept. 18, the CDC updated guidance that acknowledged the airborne nature of coronavirus transmission, but three days later removed the language, saying it was “draft” guidance that had been posted in error. (It was finally updated in early October.) We asked for related communications.
Vaccines and Treatments: The president grew more insistent that a vaccine would be available before the election — claims echoed when the CDC directed hospitals to prepare to distribute a vaccine in early November.
- We sent public records requests to state health officials in Arizona, Nevada, and Wisconsin seeking communications about distribution plans, and received records from the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services in which state officials wrote that the CDC’s directive caused “a lot of confusion.”
- We sent requests for vaccine development contracts with Pfizer, Sanofi, Novavax, and GlaxoSmithKline.
- In the spring, the CDC had entered into contracts with Deloitte to track the administration and distribution of vaccines and with McKesson to ship vaccines to administration sites. We requested details of the contracts and any directives to both companies, and later received copies of the CDC’s $16 million May contract with Deloitte for the Vaccine Administration Management System, a web-based application designed to be a one-stop shop for vaccine distribution, which states struggled to use.
- HHS approved more stringent FDA guidance regarding standards for allowing vaccines to be approved for emergency use, which the White House refused to release. We filed requests seeking a copy of the guidance.
White House Outbreak: On Oct. 2, Trump tweeted that he and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive for Covid-19. Later reporting showed that the president had already tested positive the day before, a test result he did not disclose.
- On Oct. 2, Trump was transferred to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for treatment. Just two days into his treatment, the president left the hospital for a drive with his Secret Service detail — a trip that risked exposing officers and Walter Reed employees to Covid-19. We asked the Secret Service for procedures for protecting agency employees during the president’s treatment for Covid-19.
- Days before his diagnosis, Trump had attended the presidential debate in Cleveland and had not provided test results. We asked for records reflecting the dates of his first positive and last negative result.
- The same day the president said he had tested positive, the city of Cleveland announced that 11 people had contracted coronavirus in connection with pre-debate planning and set-up. We later filed records requests with the Ohio Department of Health for assessments about the debate’s impact on Covid-19 spread.
Vaccines and Treatments: As the U.S. set multiple new records for daily Covid-19 cases in October, Trump officials turned their sights to a vaccine. On Oct. 25, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said, “We are not going to control the pandemic.”
- In early October, the White House continued to block new standards for emergency authorization of a Covid-19 vaccine, and Trump cited personal conversations with Pfizer officials as he claimed a vaccine could be ready within weeks. We asked HHS, the CDC, the FDA, CMS, and OMB for senior officials’ communications with Pfizer.
- NPR had reported in September that more than $6 billion in Operation Warp Speed contracts was routed through defense contract management firm called Advanced Technologies International, which then awarded contracts to companies working on Covid-19 vaccines. We asked HHS and the Department of Defense for copies of any agreements or contracts between ATI and leading vaccine manufacturers, including Novavax, Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, and Johnson & Johnson.
Communications Management: In September, HHS awarded large contracts to create a public awareness campaign to “defeat despair and inspire hope.” We asked top health agencies, including HHS and the CDC, for communications about these contracts, one of which was eventually canceled after public outcry.
Federal Response: One day after the presidential election, the U.S. reported 100,000 new Covid-19 cases in a single day. By the end of November, the U.S. had reported 4 million cases that month.
- In September, Bob Woodward had released recordings from February — when the administration was advising Americans that masks were not necessary — in which Trump acknowledged the danger of the novel coronavirus and its airborne transmission. We asked multiple agencies for records from February related to airborne transmission. We also asked the DHS Office of Inspector General for DHS to provide all documents collected in the course of coronavirus-related investigations.
- American Oversight sued HHS, the FDA, and CMS for senior officials’ pandemic-related text messages, expanding the lawsuit in February 2021 to include the CDC.
Political Interference: On Dec. 7, a senior CDC official told congressional investigators that Redfield had instructed staff to delete an email in which a Trump political appointee attempted to exert control over the work of career scientists. We requested a copy of the email and called on HHS and the CDC to ensure that the email and other records were preserved as required by federal law. We also asked the CDC for all directives from senior officials related to the destruction of records.
- In February 2021, the CDC released a copy of the email to us, which had been first published by Politico.
Political Interference and Vaccines: On Dec. 10, the FDA’s vaccine advisory committee recommended that the agency grant emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine for individuals 16 years of age and older. The FDA had intended to grant its emergency authorization of Pfizer’s vaccine the morning of Dec. 12, but according to the Washington Post hurried to grant it by the evening of Dec. 11 after Meadows told Hahn to prepare to resign if the FDA delayed. We asked for communications between Meadows and Hahn during this time.
- We sued HHS, the CDC, the FDA, CMS, and OMB for senior officials’ communications with Pfizer. On Dec. 7, the New York Times had reported that in the late summer or fall, the Trump administration had turned down an offer from Pfizer to purchase additional doses of its vaccine.
State Issues: The nation was gripped by a massive surge in Covid-19 cases, with more than 100,000 Americans hospitalized with the disease in early December.
- Despite surging cases, some governors refused to impose mask mandates to slow the spread of the pandemic. We submitted requests to departments of health in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, and Oklahoma for risk assessments of their current Covid-19 policies, including the presence or lack of mask mandates.
- On Dec. 9, armed police raided the home of Florida data scientist Rebekah Jones, saying they were investigating an alleged hack into a state government emergency response system. Jones was a former Florida Department of Health scientist who in May had said she’d been fired for refusing to change data to support DeSantis’ reopening plan. We filed records requests with the Florida Department of Health and the governor’s office for communications about Jones.
State Issues: On Jan. 8, we asked the governor’s offices and health departments of Idaho, Wyoming, and North Dakota for assessments about the impact of mask mandates on statewide Covid-19 cases.
Influence and Access: While elderly Florida residents waited for hours to receive the Covid-19 vaccine, MorseLife Health System, an affluent nursing home in the state, offered vaccines to board members, wealthy donors, and members of the Palm Beach Country Club. The vaccines, provided through a federal program, were intended for people living and working in assisted living facilities. We asked Florida’s Department of Health, Division of Emergency Management, and Office of the Governor for records concerning access and distribution of coronavirus vaccines, including communications with MorseLife representatives.
Vaccines and Treatments: A Feb. 5 Vanity Fair article reported that Operation Warp Speed had been beset by “bureaucratic knife fighting, gung ho hubris, and a knee-jerk aversion to strong federal action.” Meanwhile, experts called for the U.S. to significantly ratchet up its vaccine distribution. We filed requests with the Department of Defense and HHS for communications with OWS leaders, and submitted requests for OWS organizational charts.
State Issues: On Feb. 21, the Covid-19 death toll had surpassed 500,000. We continued our investigation into the disparate state responses and submitted requests to governor’s offices in Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Oklahoma, and Wyoming seeking communications containing key terms related to “herd immunity.”