House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) on Wednesday released legislation to establish a bipartisan commission that would examine how well the U.S. was prepared for and responded to the ongoing pandemic and what lessons were learned.
The 16-page National Commission Regarding Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Act is co-sponsored by other Democrats on the committee and will be introduced in the coming days. The 25-member commission would be modeled after the 9/11 Commission with members selected by the chairmen and ranking members of the relevant congressional committees.
“Americans today will again demand a full accounting of how prepared we were and how we responded to this global public health emergency,” Thompson said in a statement. “Americans will need answers on how our government can work better to prevent a similar crisis from happening again.”
The commission would have 18 months to conduct its review and then publish a public report with recommendations for a national plan to better respond to public health, economic and social impacts from future public health emergencies. The commission would look at federal, state, local, tribal and territorial governments in terms of their preparedness and response to the virus.
The commission would be made up of experts in fields of public health, emergency management, transportation, educations, economics, healthcare, foreign policy, logistics and supply chain, intelligence, and election security and administration.