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Capitol Correspondence - 06.23.20

Internal Watchdog Faults HHS for Inadequate Emergency Workforce Planning

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As reported by Politico Pulse:

“GAO FAULTS HHS FOR INADEQUATE EMERGENCY WORKFORCE PLANNING — A new report by the top watchdog agency says the Department [of Health and Human Services (HHS)] failed to ensure that the federal government’s reserve workforce of medical emergency responders is prepared for large-scale disasters like the Covid-19 pandemic or the 2017 hurricane season.

[The Government Accountability Office] GAO also criticized HHS for failing to take into account the needs of at-risk individuals such as children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with chronic health conditions in its strategic planning.

In a response attached to the report, HHS concurred with GAO’s recommendations but took issue with the report’s references to Covid-19, arguing that the pandemic is beyond the primary scope of the National Disaster Medical System and that any assessment of the ongoing federal response is premature.”