September 12, 2023

Senator Schmitt Leads Letter Requesting Extensive Reform at CDC

WASHINGTON –  Today, Senator Eric Schmitt, prior to the consideration and reauthorization of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act, led a letter calling for reform at the CDC to Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senator Bernie Sanders, and Senator Bill Cassidy – Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee:

“Abuse of power and bureaucratic overreach have riddled the CDC, and the COVID-19 pandemic exposed the serious flaws that exist within the CDC. We saw unprecedented abuses of power during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the CDC was the tip of the spear. We need top-down reform of the CDC andCongressional oversight, and we need it now,” said Senator Eric Schmitt.  

Cosigners of the letter include Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), Senator Mike Braun (R-IN), and Senator JD Vance (R-OH).


The letter proposes the CDC:

  • End vaccine mandates and restrict federal powers to demand compulsory vaccination.
  • Require the CDC director to be Senate-confirmed effective immediately, including current Director Mandy Cohen.
  • Refocusing the CDC’s mission to infectious disease control and response, and leave research to the National Institutes of Health.
  • Require congressional appointment of the CDC director’s advisory board.
  • Ensure unelected international bodies like the World Health Organization do not dictate U.S. domestic policy.
  • Ensure unelected local groups, like teachers unions, do not dictate public health policy.
  • Reinforce and ensure implementation of past PAHPA policies; including technology modernization efforts which have been funded but unimplemented since 2006.
  • Promote effective, accurate, and bidirectional communication between the CDC, state and local public health offices, and the private sector.
  • Codify that public health emergency powers do not extend to rent control, student loan deferments, school closures, or implementing mask mandates for private businesses.
  • Eliminate the divisive and unnecessary Office of Health Equity.
  • Create an independent Office of the Inspector General in the CDC, National Institutes of Health, and Food and Drug Administration to promote accountability and transparency.