GAO’s reports and testimonies give Congress, federal agencies, and the public timely, fact-based, non-partisan information that can improve government operations and save taxpayers billions of dollars.
What GAO Found In its April 2022 report, GAO found that the four selected agencies it reviewed did not have procedures describing how political interference in scientific decision-making should be reported and addressed.
Why This Matters Wastewater surveillance can be an efficient way to detect community-level disease outbreaks and other health threats. It has the potential to identify a COVID-19 outbreak 1 to 2 weeks sooner than clinical testing and allow for a more rapid public health response.
Why This Matters Long COVID has potentially affected up to 23 million Americans, pushing an estimated 1 million people out of work. The full magnitude of health and economic effects is unknown but is expected to be significant.
What GAO Found Vaccines protect people from disease by preparing the body to respond to an infection. Vaccinations are a key part of individual and community health, but vaccine development remains complex and costly.
What GAO Found Between 2013 and 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Defense (DOD), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) conducted and funded preclinical research collaborations with Gilead Sciences, Inc.
Why This Matters With millions of teens and young adults using e-cigarettes, a new generation could become addicted to nicotine and face other health risks. For some adult smokers, e-cigarettes may offer a less harmful substitute for traditional cigarettes.
Why This Matters Infectious diseases like COVID-19 can spread rapidly from person to person. Social distancing saves lives by slowing disease transmission and reducing the load on the health care system. The scientific research regarding effective social distancing practices continues to evolve.