House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) has announced the formation of a House Select Committee on the coronavirus outbreak. The committee will be chaired by one of the most partisan Democrats, Rep. Jim Clyburn, the House Majority Whip. Clyburn's committee will have subpoena power.

In announcing the establishment of the committee on Thursday, Pelosi stated that Congress should have an oversight role.

"Congress has taken an important step in leading this crisis by passing three bills with over $2 trillion in emergency relief," she said. "We need to ensure those dollars are spent carefully and effectively.”

Now, let me state from the get-go that congressional oversight is certainly warranted and makes sense. It is also important for Congress to investigate why so many state governments were woefully unprepared for this crisis and why the Obama administration weakened the federal government's ability to respond by failing to properly replenish stockpiles following the H1N1 outbreak in 2009.

It is also essential for Congress to look at past trade deals that allowed the U.S. to become dependent on the Chinese and others for drugs and the medical supplies needed to protect this country. There are a lot of things Congress could do that would better prepare this country for the next emergency.

With Rep. Adam Schiff (D-California) planning to use the House Intelligence Committee that he chairs as a "nonpartisan" 9/11-type commission to research why America was “so unprepared” for the COVID-19 pandemic, one can only suspect that the Democrats are looking for new opportunities to harass President Trump and his administration during a time of significant crisis.

One has to wonder if there are not better uses for our nation's financial resources with the economy in tatters and thousands dying than to spend tens of millions more on bogus anti-Trump witch hunts.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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