Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-IN) delivered the following opening statement, as prepared for delivery, at a subcommittee hearing on successful models for protecting communities from COVID-19:
“It’s an important discussion to have: how do we manage and mitigate pandemic risks, look at them comprehensively, and stop politicizing serious government decisions to play politics with people’s lives and advance a party agenda.
“Let’s look at the prior year’s successes: Operation Warp Speed was the gold standard of vaccine development and distribution. Under President Trump, who promptly cut red tape and regulations, our private health care sector was able to produce several lifesaving vaccines in record time.
“This proved, yet again, that America’s health care system thrives when government gets out of the way and supports private innovation. As we continue discussing successful models for protecting communities from COVID-19, we must acknowledge that the most effective mitigation and prevention strategy—vaccination—is both free and widely available for every American over age 12. Our free-enterprise system and the private health care industry made this miraculous feat possible.
“The timing of the pandemic, happening during an intense reelection year, caused it to be politicized even further; and despite claiming to be the ‘party of science,’ Democrats fueled the public’s vaccine hesitancy by spawning doubt over whether a Republican president could be trusted to deliver a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccination. This politically motivated disinformation was cowardly, cost people their lives, and exacerbated health disparities. Unfortunately, the Biden administration continues to sow fear, doubt, and confusion.
“Through ever-changing guidance and policies crafted along ideological lines, President Biden is creating another pandemic: misinformation. We need our Commander-in-Chief to put facts before factions and to clearly communicate with the public about the state of COVID-19, the vaccines’ effectiveness, and the path forward to a pre-pandemic life.
“From the latest vaccine mandates—which are not based on risk or science—to precluding our children from in-person learning—which is not based on risk or science— this President has traded our country’s long-term viability for short-term political wins for the Democrat Party.
“To capitalize on early successes we experienced responding to COVID-19, it is imperative that we reestablish local and state control, working together with those leaders to execute policies that encourage vaccination and government transparency. Not government force and fear – it backfires and only belongs to totalitarian regimes, not a constitutional republic of free people. Only then can we begin to regain our pre-pandemic prosperity.
“Thank you to all our witnesses for joining us in what, I hope for a change, will be a fact-based, productive, and meaningful discussion.”