The Government Accountability Office (GAO), an independent investigative arm of Congress, is preparing to open roughly 30 “engagements” into the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
The GAO, which received $20 million in new funding during the last round of coronavirus relief, plans to use its new budget to hire additional auditors to investigate numerous aspects of President Donald Trump’s response to the virus, according to Politico. Officials plan to look into the distribution of economic relief to individuals and small businesses, distribution of personal protective equipment, and implementation of nationwide testing.
“We’re moving forward very quickly,” Angela Nicole Clowers, GAO health care unit chief, said of the action, according to Politico. “We’re an existing institution and have a lot of institutional knowledge about all these programs. It gives us sort of a leg up.”
Just weeks prior, Trump fired a wave of inspector generals who would have potentially looked into the administration’s coronavirus response, earning criticism from Congressional lawmakers in both parties. He created a new position, the special inspector general for pandemic recovery, in early April but nominated Senior Associate Counsel in the Office of White House Counsel Brian Miller to fill it.