April 5, 2023
Dear Senators and Members of Congress,
Independent Women’s Voice, which fights to enhance people’s freedom, opportunities, and well-being, is proud to support the Restore Public Health Institution Trust Act introduced by Senator Marco Rubio and Representative Dan Crenshaw.
The Restore Public Health Institution Trust Act would require the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to review and submit a report on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) messaging and decision-making surrounding its mask and vaccine guidance. Under the bill, the GAO must review the following items and offer recommendations on ways the CDC can improve its approach:
- The data being used to make recommendations;
- The impact that inconsistent messaging has had on Americans’ trust in theinstitution and willingness to follow its guidance, including as it relates tovaccine uptake;
- The role of vaccine mandates in vaccine hesitancy, including for theschool-age population and vaccines on the recommended immunization schedules for children, adolescents, and adults of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the CDC;
- The degree to which outside entities, like teachers’ unions, were in a position to impact recommendations.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the government demonstrated inconsistent policy choices and sent mixed messages to the public. At times, bureaucrats even gave the impression that they were determined to find new ways to exert incredible control over our lives, even if it meant infringing on our civil liberties.
By issuing guidance on mask-wearing, vaccines, and school reopenings that was not grounded in science, but driven by politics, the CDC repeatedly undermined its own credibility. Those who questioned and/or refused to comply with these policies were often ostracized, denied access to certain facilities, and in some cases, fired. Not surprisingly, Americans have lost a great deal of faith in public health “experts” and agencies. This has implications far beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is crucial that our policymakers find ways to improve transparency and accountability in the public institutions that failed us during a critical time and, we hope, restore public trust. This means ensuring that government agencies aren’t subject to political interference.
We thank Senator Rubio and Representative Crenshaw for their leadership on this important issue and urge all senators and members of Congress to support this proposed legislation and work towards its swift passage.
Hadley Heath Manning
Vice President for Policy
Independent Women’s Voice