The Trump administration’s new order will give them control over hospital data about coronavirus patients, bypassing the CDC
The coronavirus pandemic is continuing to pick up steam in the U.S., with cases and deaths now rising in a majority of states. Despite the U.S. being the global epicenter of the pandemic now, though, the Trump administration continues to try to undercut the importance of public health measures and downplay the seriousness of the pandemic and COVID-19, the deadly disease it causes. And now, in a move that’s shocking public health officials, the Trump administration has ordered that hospital data related to the pandemic will no longer be sent to the CDC, but instead to the administration itself.
Officials are now worried that this move could make data about things like hospitalizations and deaths less transparents, and that data could be withheld from the public or manipulated for the administration’s political gain. The New York Times also noted that this could affect how we respond to the coronavirus pandemic, as the “database that will receive new information is not open to the public, which could affect the work of scores of researchers, modelers and health officials who rely on C.D.C. data to make projections and crucial decision.”
CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta said that the move will certainly “lead to more opaqueness” about the coronavirus and how it’s affecting Americans.
“What logic does this have, other than to take away the data from the epidemiologists that are the best in the world at looking at this data, making sense of it, translating it for people, versus giving it to HHS,” he said.
The administration has countered by saying this is a “new faster and complete data system is what our nation needs to defeat the coronavirus and the CDC, an operating division of HHS, will certainly participate in this streamlined all-of-government response. They will simply no longer control it.”
To date, more than 130,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus. While countries all over the world have curbed their outbreaks and successfully reopened, the U.S. has an outbreak that remains completely out of control, with a number of states reporting record-breaking case numbers now almost every day. Deaths are once again on the rise for the entire country, and rapidly rising case numbers are threatening to overwhelm hospitals in places where infections are concentrated, and all but guaranteed to result in more lives lost.