Congress Raise Concerns About Kushner-Let Effort to Establish National COVID-19 Surveillance System
April 10, 2020
Senators Mark Warner (D-VA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Representative Anna Eschoo (D-CA) sent a letter to White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner, raising concern about his efforts to establish a national COVID-19 surveillance system. The members of Congress stated, "We fear that further empowering technology firms and providing unfettered access to sensitive health information during the COVID-19 pandemic could fatally undermine health privacy in the United States." They stressed that, "absent a clear commitment and improvements to our health privacy laws -these extraordinary measures could undermine the confidentiality and security of our health information and become the new status quo." EPIC recently filed a Freedom of Information Act request with Health and Human Services for the March memo from health technology companies that touted their ability to gather patient information. The letter from Congress to Kushner reflected several of the issues raised in EPIC's original FOIA request.