HOLLYWOOD HILLS─On Tuesday, June 16, Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee introduced legislation requiring the director of National Intelligence, John Ratcliffe, to produce an estimate on the threat of global pandemic disease. The House Intelligence Committee is chaired by Adam Schiff, Congressman of the 28th Californian District.
“Congress should request a National Intelligence Estimate… By knowing more about how the world is postured to deal with future pandemics, and how the current pandemic will reshape both our national security and the international community, we can be better prepared to respond to similar outbreaks in the future,” said Schiff.
The NIE would require the intelligence community to produce an assessment of the disease outcome during an 18-month period. This includes analyzing the global public health system, global disease surveillance, and the response system. The executive branch would have to report a concrete plan for a governmental response to a potential second wave of COVID-19 and other pandemics.
Earlier in the year, Senator Schiff, Senator Kamala Harris, and Senator Dianne Feinstein, all from California, announced separate legislation to create a bipartisan 9/11-style commission. The original commission was established after the 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, and this will mirror its structure.
The committee will be composed of 10 members with equal partisan balance. It will look into the COVID-19 response of the federal, state, and local governments. It will “provide recommendations to improve [the] ability to respond to and recover from future outbreaks, epidemics and pandemics.”
The commission will hold public hearings and “possess subpoena power” to assure cooperation from all levels of government, as well as the private sector. This commission is not expected until February 2021, after the presidential election and inauguration.