Following New Reports Of Science Suppression At CDC, Schatz Calls For Immediate Senate Action On Legislation To Protect Scientific Research And Standards In Federal Government, Prevent Political Influence

Schatz-Tonko Legislation Included In House-Passed HEROES Act

WASHINGTON – Following new reports on the suppression of science-based guidance at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) called for immediate Senate action on legislation he authored to protect public scientific research and reports from the influence of political and special interests. Companion legislation, introduced by U.S. Representative Paul Tonko (D-N.Y), was included in the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act which passed the House on Friday. Schatz is now fighting to include his scientific integrity legislation in the Senate’s next COVID-19 relief package.

“These reports are clear and terrifying: people are dying because this administration has ignored science and attacked the experts at the CDC for doing their job,” said Senator Schatz. “People’s lives are on the line, and we need to act now.”

The Scientific Integrity Act will help prevent undue influence over federal science by establishing uniform standards at U.S. agencies to adopt or strengthen existing scientific integrity policies. These policies exist to prevent public research and findings from being distorted or shelved for political reasons. More than 20 federal agencies have developed some form of scientific integrity policy to-date but standards remain inconsistent.

The Scientific Integrity Act will:

  • Formalize and reinforce policies that require federal agencies that conduct or fund scientific research to maintain clear scientific integrity principles;
  • Affirm that science dictates policy, and that scientific research should be free from the pressure of politics, ideology, or financial influence; and
  • Hold public scientists to high standards and guarantee their rights and protections under the law.