Covid-19 commission modeled on 9/11 investigation draws bipartisan support

But dr. Anthony S. Fauci, Biden’s chief medical adviser for the pandemic, said it was important to investigate the origins of the pandemic. He said it took years after the coronavirus that caused SARS emerged in 2002 to determine it had almost certainly jumped from bats or civets to humans in a wet market in China. That led to more regulation of wet markets, he said.

The 9/11 Commission, signed in late 2002 by the initially reluctant President George W. Bush, was an independent, bipartisan panel that spent a year and a half investigating the attacks and the country’s preparedness for them, holding public hearings. in what amounted to a national reckoning.

It produced a comprehensive report in book form – both a detailed analysis and a gripping story that was a startling bestseller and changed the American understanding of the attacks, which left nearly 3,000 dead, and the terrorist threat. The report led to structural changes in government and the way intelligence is evaluated and shared, as well as new cooperation between federal, state and local agencies.

“We have prevented dozens of terrorist attacks in our city because they work together,” Ms Gillibrand said, referring to New York. “And so the same approach of a concerted effort by the government is needed to stop the next pandemic.”

Mr. Zelikow, who led the Sept. 11 panel, has laid the groundwork for a committee to investigate the pandemic, with funding from four foundations and a paid staff that has already interviewed hundreds of public health experts, business leaders, elected officials, victims and their families. families.

Mr Zelikow, who has consulted Senators Burr and Murray, said he would be willing to turn over his work to a committee set up by Congress. The pandemic has fundamentally tested Americans’ trust in the government, he said, and a thorough investigation would be an important “bridge to try and rebuild that trust and that trust.”

Covid-19 victims and their families, many of whom support the idea of ​​a commission, are also longing for the kinds of grievances the September 11 panel delivered to victims of the terrorist attacks two decades ago. And, they say, an impartial, serious investigation could be something the country could rally around.

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