The Washington Post
Health Context

House Democrats subpoena White House adviser over coronavirus response

Updated Sep 23, 2021 at 9:02 PM EST

White House officials prioritized former President Donald Trump’s attempt to challenge the election over the pandemic response last winter, according to emails obtained by the House select subcommittee probing the government’s coronavirus response and shared with The Washington Post.

Steven Hatfill, a virologist who advised White House trade director Peter Navarro and said he was intimately involved in the pandemic response, repeatedly described in the emails how “election stuff” took precedence over coronavirus, even as the outbreak surged to more than 250,000 new coronavirus cases per day in January. 

The Democrat-led panel on Thursday issued a subpoena to Hatfill, demanding that he turn over documents that the subcommittee first requested in April and chastising him for minimizing his role in the White House response. 

"Dr. Hatfill has refused to provide documents and misleadingly downplayed his involvement in the pandemic response in communications with Select Subcommittee staff," House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.), who chairs the subcommittee, wrote in a memo to colleagues that was shared with The Post.

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