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House Republicans must hold COVID hearings: We need accountability for damage done to school kids, businesses

Last week, we finally got confirmation that the Republicans have won the House of Representatives. This is good news, especially for those of us who want to see some accountability for the terrible COVID policies of the last few years. It’s time for House hearings into the American response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The argument that Americans want to move on and forget what happened during the pandemic is contradicted by the recent election results. Yes, Republicans were hoping for a giant red wave and what they got was a red ripple. But it’s important to note where their votes came from in the election and why that shows a hunger for accountability over pandemic policies

New York had every single county move red and ultimately may be responsible for Republicans capturing the House. Republican Lee Zeldin lost to Democrat Gov. Kathy Hochul, that’s true, but his competitive race meant that he lifted up several congressional candidates in the state. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks during a press briefing at the White House, April 13, 2021.

Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks during a press briefing at the White House, April 13, 2021.
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

DCCC chairman Sean Patrick Maloney lost his seat in upstate New York, Marc Molinaro won in Dutchess County and all of Long Island, Zeldin’s home turf, was awash in red. My home area of south Brooklyn was too. These are the people hit hardest by dumb COVID policies, who couldn’t stay home in their pajamas, work on their laptops and order Uber Eats. For this, their businesses were targeted and their kids’ schools were closed. They remember.


Long Island had fought for their freedoms first under Gov. Andrew Cuomo and then Hochul’s COVID regimes. 

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wrote a book about his experiences during the pandemic.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wrote a book about his experiences during the pandemic.
(Jeenah Moon/Getty Images  |  Amazon Books)

Cuomo, who had insisted that he was in charge of schools when he wanted to flex on then-NYC mayor Bill de Blasio, was suddenly silent when it came time to open them and kept masks on kids long after we knew it made no sense. Cuomo also shut businesses down at his whim, declaring various zip codes to have too high a COVID rate. Hochul, who has very rarely been seen in a mask, was responsible for forcing 2-year-olds across the state to mask long after everyone else had stopped. 


Unscientific policies like these caused harm to people across the country. Our politicized health agencies provided the cover for politicians to use COVID to enact any policy they wanted. At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Rochelle Walensky allowed Randi Weingarten, who heads up the special interest group, the American Federation of Teachers, to craft school reopening policies. These policies specifically kept schools closed and harmed thousands of children, harm we are now seeing come to light in their test scores. The White House coordinated Walensky and Weingarten’s sit-down. Hold them all accountable.

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers
(Paul Morigi/Getty Images for MomsRising Together)

Meanwhile, Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said schools couldn’t open until President Joe Biden’s spending bill passed. This was in February 2021, long after schools had been open in most sane places across the country. Haul him in front of the House and have him answer for the damage he has done to these kids in the name of politics. Let that be his legacy before he retires: Anthony Fauci harmed children. Hold him accountable. 


Republicans have a moment now to get everyone on the record, under oath, about what happened during the pandemic. If they miss this moment, the history rewrite is on. Already all the politicians who closed schools, like Michigan’s Gretchen Whitmer, are full-on lying that they didn’t. A GOP House has to demand accountability. This is their immediate purpose and they should not let it pass. 


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