Trump takes steps to deprive nation of Covid-19 data

The Trump administration is now requiring hospitals to send data about Covid-19 patients directly to Washington, bypassing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Critics of the Trump performance on the epidemic fear the administration will only release data to the public that serves Trump’s political ends.(The New York Times, July 14, 2020, by Sheryl Gay Stolberg)

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services that will control the information said the new arrangement will streamline the data system that has proved inadequate under CDC control. CDC officials say their epidemiologists will be deprived of data they need to analyze and interpret for the public. (CNN, Joy 15, 2020, biy Jim Acosta and Devan Cole)

In the meantime, a Columbia University institute announced it was setting up a service for documenting and obtaining data related to the Covid-19 pandemic. The intent is to work with local and national news media to obtain and disseminate information. The institute has so far collected 54 document sets from 29 states. (NiemanLab, July 13, 2020, by Laura Hazard Owen)

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