Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Trump administration asserts control over coronavirus data


David J. Phillip – Associated Press

Dr. Joseph Varon, right, talks with patient Jose Tellez inside the Coronavirus Unit at United Memorial Medical Center, July 6, 2020, in Houston.

WASHINGTON – The Trump administration has ordered hospitals to bypass the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and send all coronavirus patient information to a central database in Washington beginning on Wednesday. The move has alarmed health experts who fear the data will be politicized or withheld from the public.

The new instructions were posted in a little-noticed document on the Department of Health and Human Services website. From now on, the department - not the CDC - will collect daily reports about the patients that each hospital is treating, the number of available beds and ventilators, and other information vital to tracking the pandemic.

Officials say the change will streamline data gathering and assist the White House coronavirus task force in allocating scarce supplies like personal protective gear and remdesivir, the first drug shown to be effective against the virus. But the Health and Human Services 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 CDC data to make projections and crucial decisions.


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