WJTV-TV Jackson

Hyde-Smith cosponsors bill to audit CDC mask guidance decision-making process

By DeAngelo Vaxter

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – On Thursday, U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) joined U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) in introducing legislation requiring a federal review of the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) decision-making and messaging process.

This comes after the CDC reversed course Tuesday on some masking guidelines, recommending that even vaccinated people return to wearing masks indoors in parts of the U.S. where the coronavirus is surging. The Restore Public Health Institution Trust Act would require a Government Accountability Office (GAO) examination of the CDC.

“Most Americans understand why health policies evolve as we fight the coronavirus, but they also deserve competence from the agencies entrusted to guide us through this pandemic. I appreciate the CDC and its work, but the newest CDC mask guidance is sowing confusion and skepticism, which is counterproductive,” Hyde-Smith said. 

“I believe a GAO review of CDC decision-making processes could spur improvements at CDC and help restore confidence in subsequent health policy announcements.”

The bill would require the GAO to review the following items and make recommendations:

  • The data being used to make recommendations;
  • The effect of inconsistent messaging on Americans’ trust in the CDC and willingness to follow the guidance, including as it relates to vaccine uptake;
  • The degree to which outside entities, like teachers unions, were in a position to impact recommendations.