I’m not sure this is going to be the best thing for us. Starting on July 15th, the CDC is no longer going to be the source for data collection and reporting for COVID-19. I have a real fear that we are not going to get the actual facts anymore, as the White House has already expressed disapproval of the high numbers being reported now. I hate that this issue is now going to be politicized to an even greater extent, all to the detriment of the health and safety of the American public.
White House tells hospitals to bypass CDC on coronavirus data
Sam Baker July 14, 2020 [ AXIOS.com ]
The Trump administration is cutting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention out of the process of collecting coronavirus data, The New York Times reports.
Why it matters: The new database will not be open to the public, according to the Times, and comes amid repeated efforts by the Trump administration to sideline the CDC.
Details: The White House told hospitals to stop reporting key data about their patients to the CDC, and to instead feed it into a new system that will flow directly to the Health and Human Services Department, which oversees the CDC.
- The change was designed to help the White House’s coronavirus task force allocate resources, officials told the Times.
- But experts said they’re worried that the new system will make it harder for people outside the White House to track the pandemic.
Between the lines: Experts told the NYT that the CDC’s data collection systems are flawed, but some questioned whether the administration’s new system would be significantly more efficient, on top of their questions about its transparency.
- The CDC “will certainly participate” in the new process, but “will simply no longer control it,” HHS spokesperson Michael Caputo told the Times.
Context: The CDC is increasingly under fire from the White House and its Republican allies.
- President Trump and Vice President Pence both criticized CDC guidance that called for opening schools only with extensive social distancing measures in place.
- Trump and senior White House officials previously complained about the CDC’s decision to include “presumptive” coronavirus deaths — people who died after experiencing the symptoms of coronavirus, but had not been tested for it — in the official death tally.
- Politico reported last month that the White House was looking to lay the blame for the coronavirus response on the CDC, potentially including “narrowing the mission of the agency or trying to embed more political appointees.”
Trump Administration Strips C.D.C. of Control of Coronavirus Data
Hospitals have been ordered to bypass the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and send all patient information to a central database in Washington, raising questions about transparency
July 14, 2020
By Sheryl Gay Stolberg [NY Times ]
WASHINGTON — The Trump administration has ordered hospitals to bypass the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and send all Covid-19 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 recently in a little-noticed document on the Department of Health and Human Services website. From now on, the department — not the C.D.C. — 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 C.D.C. data to make projections and crucial decisions.
“Historically, C.D.C. has been the place where public health data has been sent, and this raises questions about not just access for researchers but access for reporters, access for the public to try to better understand what is happening with the outbreak,” said Jen Kates, the director of global health and H.I.V. policy with the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation.
Trump Boosts False Conspiracy Theory That Doctors And CDC Are ‘Lying’ About COVID
July 13, 2020
President Donald Trump on Monday morning escalated his efforts to whitewash COVID-19 by attacking health experts and even his own Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), whose science-based evaluations of the virus continue to clash with Trump’s falsely rosy portrayal of it.
Trump retweeted a deranged post by Chuck Woolery, a faithfully pro-Trump radio host, that ranted about so-called “outrageous lies” about the virus, which has seen major spikes in numerous states that have already begun reopening in recent weeks. “Everyone is lying. The CDC, Media, Democrats, our Doctors, not all but most, that we are told to trust,” Woolery tweeted. “I think it’s all about the election and keeping the economy from coming back, which is about the election.” The President reposted the commentator’s evidence-free conspiracy theory on Monday morning:
Trump’s boosting of Woolery’s baseless accusation is the latest development in the President’s ongoing effort to salvage his reelection prospects by downplaying the destruction wreaked by COVID-19, which has infected more than 3.3 million Americans and killed approximately 135,000 while also devastating the U.S. economy. Part of Trump’s attempts to publicly dismiss the alarming figures is to falsely claim that the outbreak is “going away” (Arizona, Florida, and multiple other states are seeing record-breaking increases in COVID-19 cases daily) and that increased testing is artificially inflating the number of cases.
But health experts, including White House COVID-19 task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci, have pushed back on Trump’s deceptive framing of the pandemic and warned that the coronavirus is still very much on the rise. Trump and the White House have begun trying to discredit those experts in response, with the President telling Fox News host Sean Hannity last week that they have been “wrong about a lot of things.” The White House even sent several media outlets on Sunday a list of remarks Fauci had made about COVID-19 in the beginning of the pandemic that turned out to be incorrect later on.**
** I have to mention, ALL healthcare experts were in a learning curve with this totally new phenomenon we were facing.
Trying to make this an issue is totally preposterous!!!
July 16, 2020
The coronavirus has apparently hit close to home for Chuck Woolery. The former game show host, whose controversial tweet that “everyone is lying” about COVID-19 was retweeted by President Donald Trump, revealed one day later his son tested positive. Then his Twitter account disappeared. To recap, Woolery, 79, caused a stir on Sunday when he tweeted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), media and Democrats are among those who are perpetuating a hoax about COVID-19. “The most outrageous lies are the ones about Covid 19. Everyone is lying. The CDC, Media, Democrats, our Doctors, not all but most, that we are told to trust. I think it’s all about the election and keeping the economy from coming back, which is about the election. I’m sick of it,” he wrote, without providing any evidence.
But it seems Woolery’s perspective on the topic quickly changed. On Monday, the original Wheel of Fortune host shared that one of his sons tested positive for COVID-19. “To further clarify and add perspective, Covid-19 is real and it is here. My son tested positive for the virus, and I feel for of those suffering and especially for those who have lost loved ones,” he wrote. For those looking to verify the tweet themselves, good luck. Two days after the surprising turnaround, Woolery’s account disappeared. It’s unclear if he deleted the account himself, whether Twitter suspended it due to Sunday’s tweet, or if it had something to do with Wednesday’s widespread hack.