As the congressional watchdog, GAO provides non-partisan oversight of the federal response to the Coronavirus pandemic and has a history of examining pandemic issues and associated implications. The $2 trillion coronavirus response legislation, known as the CARES Act, requires GAO to continually monitor and report on the nation's preparedness for, response to, and recovery from the pandemic. GAO will examine the impact of COVID-19 on public health, homeland security, the economy, and more. GAO will also track how that $2 trillion is being spent.
The first report under the CARES Act is due to Congress in late June, and then bi-monthly reports are due through the first year after enactment. A feed of these reports is available here. A record of past related reports is available here.
GAO is looking at such areas as testing for the virus, issues around management of the national stockpile and the distribution of equipment, the availability of the personal protective equipment, infection control at nursing homes, Defense Product Act issues, student loan relief efforts, unemployment benefits, paycheck protection programs, and the use of funds by various agencies.
In general, GAO will conduct audit work on the range of issues included in the Act—health care, assistance to individuals and families, assistance to state and local governments and tribes, assistance to industry/specific sectors, international aid, and contracting.
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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.
As part of our oversight, we draw on the lessons learned from our broad portfolio of work on how the federal government can prepare for, respond to, and help people recover from disasters and pandemics.
This feed shows our published reports and congressional testimonies that are relevant to the Coronavirus pandemic. It will be updated with new reports as they are published.
Our past reports related to biodefense, public health, pandemics, infectious diseases, economic stimulus, and a number of other topics that are relevant to the Coronavirus pandemic.
GAO’s experts often speak publicly about our work. You can contact the Office of Public Affairs at (202) 512-4800 or firstname.lastname@example.org to find an expert, or look up senior GAO staff by area of expertise in our Find an Expert tool.
Pandemics, Infectious Diseases, and other Disease Outbreaks
This collection of reports discusses funding, administration, federal responses to prior outbreaks (e.g., Ebola and Zika), and technologies (e.g., to enable rapid diagnoses of infectious diseases), among other topics.
Pandemic Preparedness: Watchdog Report Deep Dig Edition
The United States has a National Biodefense Strategy that calls for a joint effort by multiple agencies and private sector partners. It spells out the nation’s plan to prepare for threats like COVID-19. The following reports highlight longstanding challenges and actions needed to address them.
Our body of disaster response work addresses the federal, state, and local response to disasters including natural and biological disasters such as pandemics. Our recent disaster recovery work highlights the challenges in the federal and state response to disasters and ways to increase preparedness and improve response.
Our past work on new funding, stimulus, and credit vehicles may provide insights into the federal response to COVID-19. This body of work looks at previous federal mechanisms for helping the private sector, such as loans, loan guarantees, and investments in private companies.
The current coronavirus pandemic highlights the ongoing concerns about food insecurity. Our past work addresses the nutrition needs of college students, older adults, school aged children, and servicemembers. Topics include mass care organization and coordination in disasters, and summer meals programs for K-12 students.
This body of work highlights the importance of building accountability into funding mechanisms and ensuring that agencies are establishing adequate internal controls as programs are established. Existing controls may not be adequate to account for temporary program changes. As such, emergency measures require the federal government to balance meeting the immediate needs of the citizens and industry with protecting taxpayer interests.
Under the Pandemic Unemployment Relief provisions of the CARES Act, self-employed or contingent workers will have access to unemployment insurance. These reports help define that population and outline some of the challenges they face with benefits and financial security.
Cybersecurity, Information Technology, Federal Telework, and Broadband Access
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of broadband/internet access—for telework, telehealth, distance learning, and more. Information technology and cybersecurity issues are even more important in this environment. Our past work looks at existing capabilities and ongoing challenges.
Our past work explores the retirement system—especially the fact that many Americans don’t have adequate retirement savings. The economic and financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are expected to exacerbate these challenges and further jeopardize financial security for older workers and those who have already retired.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in new ways for thieves and scammers to commit fraud against unsuspecting people. Our body of work on fraud, consumer schemes, and misleading advertisements highlight the importance of consumer protection.
A comprehensive federal plan for the U.S. aviation system’s preparedness is needed to help prevent and contain the spread of disease. Airlines and airports have individual plans to handle flights with infected passengers, but an epidemic may require involvement from multiple airports on a national level.
Infectious animal diseases can pose potential threats to humans as well as livestock. Our past work in this area may help inform preparedness for current and future infectious disease outbreaks that may originate from animals.