USA Today: Create Coronavirus Commission now to review pandemic response: Schiff, Thompson & Murphy

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Washington, April 19, 2020 | comments

The fight against coronavirus is unlike any our nation has waged in modern history. But this is not the first time we have been tested in such a sudden and devastating fashion — and Congress should draw lessons from our past experience.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Imperial Japan launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, killing over 2,000 Americans, crippling the Navy’s Pacific Fleet and drawing us into World War II. On Sept. 11, 2001, terrorists hijacked four commercial airliners, murdering nearly 3,000 civilians, injuring over 25,000, deepening the 2001 recession and forcing our nation to confront the global threat of terrorism.

Both were searing national traumas. Both demanded massive mobilization by the whole of American society.

And with both the Pearl Harbor and 9/11 attacks, even as the nation acted to confront the threats to its security in the moment, the gravity and complexity of the attacks prompted after-action reviews. The leaders in those eras had the foresight to create independent commissions charged with conducting comprehensive investigations of what our government did right, what it did wrong and how it could better protect the country in the future.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., is chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., is chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., is co-chair of the House Blue Dog Coalition

The op-ed was first published by USA Today.
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