In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress appropriated $4.7 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. We have reports related to the effects of the pandemic on federal programs and operations. In addition, the CARES Act required GAO to issue bi-monthly reports on the impact of COVID-19 for a year, with periodic reports after that. We are issuing these reports quarterly.
CARES Act Reports
On July 19, we issued our latest report on the ongoing federal pandemic response and our recommendations for continued improvement. The latest report highlights areas such as laboratory testing and domestic medical supply manufacturing. Read more about our latest report in our press release here and below.
We are issuing 15 new recommendations. Previously we made 72 recommendations, 16 of which have been fully implemented, and raised four matters for congressional consideration.
Among our findings:
- GAO is recommending that Health and Human Services improve transparency over tens of billions of dollars in unspent relief funds, and that the Office of Management and Budget and Department of Treasury issue timely guidance for audits of hundreds of billions in state and local COVID relief funds.
- To improve future pandemic response, GAO is recommending that CDC work with appropriate stakeholders to develop a plan to enhance surge capacity for laboratory testing.
- Another key open recommendation from January 2021 is related to the personal protective equipment supply chain. Before the pandemic began, the U.S. generally relied on foreign suppliers for personal protective equipment like nitrile gloves and surgical gowns. Stakeholders representing manufacturers, distributors, and purchasers have noted that more engagement with the federal government could help increase domestic manufacturing and supply chains. We recommended that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) develop a strategy for engagement with private stakeholders, and Congress. HHS agreed. As of May 2021, that recommendation has not yet been implemented.
GAO's Latest Findings
COVID-19 is having far-reaching effects on federal programs and operations. For example, we have recent pandemic-related reports on topics such as the postal service, student aid, nursing homes, and global health.
You can see our published reports and congressional testimonies that are relevant to the pandemic here:
When it passed the CARES Act in March of 2020, Congress allocated $10 billion to the Operation Warp Speed (OWS) program to accelerate vaccine production and distribution. OWS—a partnership between the Departments of Health and Human Services and Defense—aimed to help accelerate the development of a COVID-19 vaccine. GAO analyzed the readiness of each company’s vaccine technology.
In February, we released an online dashboard that provides an interactive view of vaccine development data. We released a report that looks at how the vaccine companies accelerated and combined some steps in the development process to meet unprecedented timeframes. It also looks at manufacturing challenges and what is being done to address them. For example, agencies have worked to expedite procurement and delivery of critical manufacturing equipment to address manufacturing challenges.
Be the first to know when GAO issues new work related to the pandemic and Coronavirus oversight.
- Live Feed of Reports: Embed a feed of reports on your website.
- Daily Emails: Sign up for our daily emails on this topic or several others.
- Twitter: The fastest way to know we have issued new work is to follow us on Twitter @usgao.
- Open Recommendations: Keep track of related open recommendations.
- Blog Posts: Visit the WatchBlog to read the latest COVID-19 posts.
- Previously Issued Work by Topic: Take a look at our section on Past Pandemic-Related Reports.
Our published reports and congressional testimonies that are relevant to the Coronavirus pandemic are available below. The list will be updated with new reports as they are published.
The CARES Act requires GAO to issue bi-monthly reports on the impact of COVID-19 for a year, with periodic reports after that. We have made a total of 72 recommendations and 4 matters for congressional consideration to improve the COVID-19 response in these reports. You can view each report and its recommendations here:
Federal agencies will be responsible for ensuring that all the funds from the record $2 trillion stimulus package end up where they’re supposed to. GAO has been tasked with tracking that money. If you suspect waste, fraud, or abuse of stimulus funds, you can help us out by using FraudNet to report your concerns. 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.
Federal Resources Related to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Coronavirus.gov: Public information provided by the U.S. government related to Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
- CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Current public health and safety information on COVID-19.
- USA.gov Coronavirus: What the U.S. government is doing in response to Coronavirus (COVID-19). View en español.