Boston (April 9, 2020) – – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, today sent a letter to President Donald Trump regarding reports that White House senior adviser Jared Kushner has been in contact with several private companies about creating a national surveillance system to inform resource allocation and policy decisions during the coronavirus pandemic. Reporting in Politico revealed that senior Trump Administration officials have been in touch with health technology firms about ideas including leveraging patient health records to extrapolate findings about availability of medical supplies and hospital capacity. In his letter, Senator Markey expresses support for data-driven efforts to combat the current public health crisis, but urges President Trump to reject any proposals and policies that may lead to damaging invasions of privacy.
“I welcome your Administration’s efforts to make more transparent a resource-allocation process thus far plagued by political concerns and a lack of clear criteria. And I fully support efforts to identify and implement inventive solutions to the public health crisis facing our country,” writes Senator Markey in his letter to President Trump. “But the contours of the proposal under consideration appear to represent a significant threat to Americans’ right to privacy.”
A copy of Senator Markey’s letter can be found HERE.
The Senator asks for response to questions that include: