During a congressional hearing Thursday, the Trump administration secretary for Health and Human Services answered questions apparently drawn from a coronavirus whistleblower’s complaint, before the complaint went public.
The complaint, from an anonymous official at the Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families, alleges that the team of officials sent to receive patients from China was not properly prepared to protect itself from the virus.
Without saying whether his information was from a whistleblower complaint, Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-CA) on Thursday pressed Health Secretary Alex Azar on details that matched the complaint.
“Do you think breaking basic protocols and exposing untrained human service employees to the coronavirus before allowing them to be dispersed around the country could have endangered the employees and other Americans?” Gomez asked Azar, after a string of questions that matched the whistleblower’s complaint.
“I don’t believe that has taken place,” Azar responded. “And the isolation and quarantine protocols should always be followed according to whatever CDC or state and local public health officials have recommended.”
Gomez pressed: “If they were not followed? Say, they weren’t followed. What would be the steps to deal with those employees?”
“I’d want to know the full facts, and we’d take appropriate remedial measures,” Azar said.
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