Scalise, Comer call for hearing on Biden's 'failed' COVID-19 response: 'Dereliction of duty'

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FIRST ON FOX: House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., and fellow Republican House Oversight Committee ranking member James Comer, R-Ky., called for a joint hearing into President Biden’s “failed” COVID-19 pandemic response.

The No. 2 Republican in the House and his top House Oversight GOP colleague sent the letter to House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., and House Oversight Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., on Monday calling for a joint committee hearing to “conduct legitimate oversight of the Biden Administration.”

Scalise and Comer pointed out that Clyburn had promised a hearing into the “totality of the current response” by the current administration and torched Biden’s first year in office as “one full of broken promises.”

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., accompanied by House Republican Conference chair Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., left, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, center right, and others, speaks at a news conference on the steps of the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, July 29, 2021, to complain about Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., the leadership of President Biden, and guidelines on face masks by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

“He promised to ‘shut down the virus,’” the Republicans wrote in the letter exclusively obtained by Fox News. “He promised ‘by next Christmas [2021]…I think that there’ll be significantly fewer people having to be socially distanced [and] have to wear masks…’ He promised to ‘improve the availability of tests.’”

“He promised to not ‘demand that [the vaccine] be mandatory,’” the letter continued. “And he promised he had a national plan to ‘get this virus under control.’ He failed on all accounts.”

The conservative lawmakers wrote that the subcommittee “was formed under the auspices ensuring the ‘efficiency, effectiveness, and equity’ of the COVID-19 response” before pointing out that the “unsuccessful and unscientific response of the Biden Administration has thus far been shielded from legitimate oversight.”

House Oversight and Reform Committee Ranking Member James Comer, R-Ky., during a House Oversight and Reform Committee on Capitol Hill on May 12, 2021 in Washington, D.C. 
(Jonathan Ernst-Pool/Getty Images)

“Democrats’ failure to conduct real oversight of the Biden Administration’s woefully inept response to the ongoing pandemic is unequivocally a dereliction of duty,” they wrote.

The lawmakers delved into the three issues that “have epitomized the failures of the Biden Administration,” such as the lack of at-home COVID tests, the president’s “abandonment” of his national pandemic response, and “politicizing the vaccine and undermining science.”

“Overall, the Biden Administration has made the damaging decision to mandate the vaccines over everything else,” the letter reads. “They have not paid enough attention to testing and have downplayed natural immunity and alternative therapies.”

House Majority Whip James Clyburn on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. 
(Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

“Their continued emphasis and reliance on vaccines undoubtedly laid the groundwork for the Biden Administration’s constitutionally questionable vaccine mandates that are forcing the firing of millions of hard-working medical professionals, military servicemembers, and critical supply chain workers, among others. They have chosen to bully and shame hardworking Americans,” the letter continued, pointing out that Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra “referred to the unvaccinated as ‘flat earthers.’”

The lawmakers called for a joint hearing regarding the Biden administration’s oversight of the pandemic and demanded a plethora of witnesses appear, including Becerra, White House COVID response director Jeffrey Zientz, and White House chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci.

Neither Clyburn’s nor Maloney’s offices immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment on the letter.

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