The Freedom of Information Act In the Age of the Pandemic
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The Freedom of Information Act is a statute used to gain access to information from government agencies that is not ordinarily accessible to the public. While an important law during the best of times—and one that has been used to shed light on “what the government is up to”—during the age of the pandemic it is all the more crucial. Using the First Amendment Clinic’s case with the New York Times that obtained millions of records of CDC data to expose racism in the pandemic, this talk will walk viewers through the basics of FOIA, and why from a public health perspective the statute is more important than ever. It will also discuss some of the limits of FOIA to obtain public information, as well as the limits of litigation to resolve fast-moving disputes for the nation’s Fourth Estate.
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