COVID aid program “invitation” to fraudsters, without even “minimal checks” – Federal Watchdog

March 31, 2022

(Washington DC) – Over a month ago, the Functional Government Initiative (FGI) announced a broad investigation into the federal government’s response to COVID-19 and how that response impacted government operations and the lives of American citizens. These investigations take an expansive look into the decisions that quite possibly changed our lives forever.

In an interview with NBC News, the lead federal watchdog overseeing the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), one of the government’s signature programs set up to assist businesses hit by the pandemic, highlighted the rampant fraud and abuse that the watchdog has discovered. Often, when the federal government has set up large loan programs available to the public in response to an economic crisis, the need for expedited deployment of funds is prioritized over safeguards against fraud. The result is usually a big payout to scam artists and an even larger bill for taxpayers. Unfortunately, the lessons learned from the last crisis spending spree – in the wake of the 2008 housing crisis – seemed to have been thrown out the window yet again.

Despite the unprecedented waste, fraud, and abuse seen in the multiple COVID-related spending programs, there is still much left to uncover. Many of the questionable decisions and reckless government action extend beyond federal spending and encroach into the basic freedoms of all Americans. For instance, where are the data and high-quality studies underlying the cloth mask requirements? Who and what were driving the push for vaccine mandates for all federal government employees and contractors? Why did the government initially restrict monoclonal treatments and was the distribution of these treatments based upon objective criteria? And did the federal government give preferential treatment when it came to forgiving Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans? Finding answers for these questions and more is the goal of FGI’s investigation.

While the current probes continue, FGI will proceed with even more investigations as new discoveries come to light. FGI remains committed to highlighting dysfunction in government and providing the transparency the American people demand.

Peter McGinnis, spokesman for FGI, issued the following statement:

“The American people deserve to know the truth about the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and FGI will continue our search for answers. While many areas of society are returning to a semblance of normalcy, the recent revelations by the federal watchdog in charge of investigating COVID fraud demonstrate there is much more the public should know. Over the next few weeks, we will be announcing more investigations into the federal government’s handling of the pandemic.”