Skip to main content
Press Release Published: Jun 1, 2023

Wenstrup Continues to Insist CDC Explain Political Interference in COVID-19 School Reopening Guidance Following Two Months of Stonewalling

WASHINGTON — Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic Chairman Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) is insisting upon transparency and cooperation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as it has continued to stonewall legitimate Congressional oversight for the past two months. Chairman Wenstrup is reiterating his March 28, 2023, request for documents and communications related to potential political interference in the CDC’s school reopening guidance, including by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and other groups.

During an April hearing with AFT President Randi Weingarten, the Select Subcommittee learned — for the first time — that Ms. Weingarten had a direct telephone line to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky. In addition, Ms. Weingarten provided concerning testimony regarding the CDC’s inclusion of AFT suggested edits in CDC guidance. As further troubling examples of potential political interference at the CDC continue to mount, excuses and prolonged obstruction by the CDC, Director Walensky, or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will not be tolerated by the Select Subcommittee. These actions deny Congress of its legal and imperative oversight responsibilities.

“It has now been more than two months since our request, and, to date, we have not received a single document responding to our request. This is unacceptable,” wrote Chairman Wenstrup to Director Walensky. “To date, the Department and CDC have chosen to frustrate Congressional oversight rather than participate in the process. You are now less than one month away from departing federal service, obstruction is not the legacy you should wish to leave behind. Further, your impending departure does not shield the CDC—or the Biden Administration—from Congressional oversight.”

Earlier this week, the Select Subcommittee received confirmation that HHS has finally agreed to allow Director Walensky to publicly testify on June 13, 2023. The Select Subcommittee requests the documents and communications be produced no later than June 8, 2023 — in advance of Director Walensky’s testimony.

Read Chairman Wenstrup’s letter to the CDC here.