Did federal actions undermine trust in institutions?
February 11, 2022
(Washington, DC) – The Functional Government Initiative (FGI) announced a broad investigation of the federal government’s response to COVID-19 and how that response impacts government operations and the lives of American citizens. FGI seeks to determine the foundation of decisions that have changed the operating posture of the government and, in some cases, may have weakened trust in some of its most important institutions.
The pandemic of the last two years has been the most profound event in the lives of nearly every American. The world is a far different place than it was prior. Did we “follow the science”? Will we emerge weaker or stronger?
After two years, the debates continue to rage – at times with even more passion. COVID mitigation measures have sparked tremendous public controversy and questions over their scientific underpinnings and ultimate efficacy. Mask recommendations from federal agencies have seen wide swings over the course of the pandemic with seemingly little connection to changing science. Airline industry leaders question the need for masks on airplanes. Governors across the political spectrum are relaxing mask mandates in schools and elsewhere. While at the same time the White House and CDC continue to recommend or require masks in schools and on public transportation. What data and studies underpin these recommendations?
The post-pandemic landscape for the federal workforce is almost certainly destined for change. How did two years of telework affect productivity and attendance at federal agencies? This information is necessary to determine whether the federal government is functioning properly and efficiently using taxpayer resources.
As the nation is poised to move from pandemic to endemic, the question arises, what does that really mean? If, as some assert, the government was too slow in responding at the beginning of the pandemic, is it also responding too slowly to its end? What evidence are these decisions based upon? A functional government is one that avoids arbitrary actions governed by political calculations and makes policy with an eye toward balancing public health with individual freedoms and prosperity. FGI, through an array of Freedom of Information Act requests, intends to seek answers to these questions and more.