Press Releases

SAN DIEGO – Today, Rep. Scott Peters (CA-52) released the following statement after participating in an Energy and Commerce subcommittee member briefing via teleconference. While San Diegans shelter in place, Rep. Peters continues to work for the people of California’s 52nd district and carry out his legislative duties remotely while following public health guidance.

On the call, members of the Consumer Protection and Commerce subcommittee, and others, had an opportunity to hear from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairman Joseph Simons about the agency’s action to protect American consumers as the nation adapts to evolving developments of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  

“The way we keep people safe and get our economy moving again is through testing, tracing and treatment," said Rep. Peters. “Hearing from the Federal Trade Commission during today’s Energy and Commerce subcommittee briefing gave us important information to consider as we construct and coordinate innovative systems to allow for safe re-opening.

“While technology can be used to bolster testing and contact tracing efforts, we must work diligently with the tech community to monitor the rollout of any tools aimed at helping track the spread of the virus. Regulations will need to be implemented to prevent the abuse of any personal data gathered, and the public’s vigilance will be critical in protecting individuals’ sensitive information online. We should utilize technology in a way that helps our cause in preventing spread, but that doesn’t exploit Americans’ right to privacy, too.”

On Friday, the Energy and Commerce Committee held a call with three health experts: Andy Slavitt, former Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) from 2015-2017, Mark McClellan, M.D., Ph.D., former Administrator of CMS from 2004-2006 and former Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from 2002-2004, and Avik Roy, Co-founder and President of the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity.

Rep. Peters continued, “It was clear from Friday’s call that all three of the panelists believe testing needs to scale up, and scale up quickly. According to public health experts, we are going to need $46.5 billion to get adequate testing up and running, with an additional 180,000 people to expand the contact tracing workforce. Robust testing, in tandem with proper contact tracing, will be essential to re-open the economy, and today’s discussion revealed that appropriately applied technology will be an important tool to help us do just that.”