Bronx, NY—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement:

“I thank Amanda Bennett and Sandy Sugawara for their service at the Voice of America. Their efforts helped ensure that VOA remained a trusted, unbiased source of news and information around the world while working to modernize the broadcaster to meet the challenges of a modern, shifting media landscape. I wish them both well.

“In the last few months, VOA has become a favorite target of the President and his allies, presumably because VOA has abided by the legal requirement that it be an independent news source and not a propaganda outlet for the administration. The recent reporting that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention press office instituted a blanket denial of all VOA requests is outrageous. That decision should be reversed at once and whoever is responsible should face consequences.

“I’m alarmed by the silence from leadership at the United States Agency for Global Media about the CDC situation. I would expect Mr. Pack, USAGM’s new CEO, to stand up for VOA’s journalists and independence. His failure to do so, so soon after being confirmed for this position, raises questions about whether he’s focused on advancing USAGM’s independent journalistic mission or shares the White House’s view of VOA’s role and that of our other broadcasters.”

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