House Committee on Homeland Security Chair Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) announced that the committee’s Democrats will introduce legislation to establish a bipartisan commission aimed at “identifying and examining lessons learned” from the nation’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
In a press release, the committee said that the legislation will be introduced soon and that the bipartisan commission will be modeled after the 9/11 Commission, given the magnitude that the COVID-19 outbreak has had on “all aspects of national life.
The bipartisan commission will be in charge of producing a “full and complete accounting” of the nation’s preparedness and response to COVID-19 — which includes a public report with recommendations to improve preparedness, response and recovery from future pandemics.
In a statement, Thompson highlighted how more Americans have been killed by the virus compared to deaths from the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Thompson added that the 9/11 Commission was created with the goal of providing” a full accounting of the circumstances” surrounding the attacks and that the commission’s recommendations led to reforms regarding intelligence and helped the government counter terror threats.
“It is clear that we, as a nation, are at another inflection point,” Thompson said in the statement. “Americans today will again demand a full accounting of how prepared we were and how we responded to this global public health emergency.”
Thompson also argued that the commission will help answer how the government can “work better to prevent a similar crisis” and that introducing the legislation is the first step toward prevention.
Thompson’s announcement comes a day after the White House projected between 100,000 to 240,000 fatalities from COVID-19 during a coronavirus task force briefing.