A government watchdog will investigate alleged “political interference” from the White House at the Centers for Disease Control and Food and Drug Administration (FDA), at the behest of several Democratic lawmakers.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) said on Monday it would look into whether the administration “violated the agencies’ scientific integrity and communication policies”. The inquiry was requested by Senators Elizabeth Warren, Patty Murray and Gary Peters.
There have been reports of administration officials trying to pressure the agencies into changing guidance to match the president’s assessment that the US has beaten Covid-19.
Trump has often dismissed health officials (most recently Dr Fauci) and their recommendations as overly cautious. He insisted that the FDA authorise the drug hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid-19, despite divided evidence on efficacy.
The GAO is an independent agency that takes on such inquiries for Congress.