In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress appropriated $2.6 trillion in emergency assistance for people, businesses, the health care system, and state and local governments. GAO is examining many aspects of the federal response and is your source for that fact-based, nonpartisan information. The CARES Act requires GAO to issue bi-monthly reports on the impact of COVID-19.
GAO's Latest Findings
On November 30th, we issued our latest bi-monthly report on the federal pandemic response and our recommendations for improving it. The latest report uncovered the need for more transparency around vaccines and therapeutics, unemployment numbers, and more. Medical supply shortages continue to be an urgent concern. Read more about our latest report in our press release here and below.
Medical supplies: In our national survey, one-third to one-half of states and territories reported ongoing shortages of some testing-related and other medical supplies. Most states reported certain PPE supplies (e.g., nitrile gloves) remain scarce, and about one-third of respondents were “greatly” or “completely” concerned about having enough supplies to administer vaccines in the future. Given the surge of COVID-19 cases and these reported medical supply shortages, we believe it is critically important that our previous recommendations on better managing the supply chain be implemented.
Vaccines and therapeutics: As the federal government has made a concerted effort to speed development of vaccines and therapeutics, a recent report recommended that the FDA improve transparency of scientific reviews to boost public confidence in its decision making.
Testing guidelines: Guidance is expected to evolve as new information about the coronavirus emerges, but HHS and CDC haven’t always communicated the scientific explanation for frequent changes during the pandemic and we recommend doing so.
Unemployment insurance: The Department of Labor’s weekly news releases don’t provide an accurate estimate of the total number of individuals actually claiming unemployment insurance. We recommend DOL improve its data to better understand the economic role of this benefit during the pandemic.
To ensure a more effective federal response to the pandemic, we made 11 recommendations and made one suggestion for Congress to consider.
Urgent Actions Needed to+Improv Federal Response to COVID-19
CARES Act reports and other COVID-19 related reports will also be available to read or embed as an RSS feed from this page: Newest COVID-19 Related Reports.
COVID-19 experimental vaccine
Oversight, Insight, Foresight—and Hindsight
GAO is well-positioned to oversee the federal COVID-19 response, as we have extensive experience reporting fact-based information from officials and organizations across a wide array of federal issues.
GAO, other oversight bodies, and federal officials can use our past pandemic-related reports—and the many recommendations that still apply—to inform their own work. You can find a categorized list of these reports on this page: Past Pandemic-Related Reports.
How to Get Notified about New Reports
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Twitter: The fastest way to know we have issued new work is to follow us on Twitter @usgao.
You can help us monitor the spending from the record $2 trillion stimulus package. If you suspect waste, fraud, or abuse of stimulus funds, report your concerns through FraudNet. Read April 10 press release.
FraudNet is a GAO program for the public, government workers, and contractors to report allegations of improper activities in the federal government—including fraud, waste, or abuse of funds provided under the CARES Act.