Confusion Reigns in US COVID-19 Data Debacle

Governors, researchers, and others have decried the abrupt change in US government COVID-19 data collection and sharing that’s injected confusion into an already-faltering national response.

The new protocol that emerged this week ordered hospitals to send patient information to Health and Human Services rather than the CDC.

On Tuesday night, CDC officials took down the agency’s COVID-19 data dashboard because they weren’t receiving the data firsthand, The Washington Post reports.  

An HHS official said the dashboard “was taken down in a fit of pique.” 

Then the CDC returned the dashboard yesterday morning, noting it only includes data up to July 14, CNN reports.  

Meanwhile, the National Governors Association has asked the Trump administration to delay the data reporting shift for 30 days so hospitals have time to learn the new system. 

The federal data confusion reflects other US data failures, according to Science. Epidemiologists bemoan the lack of links between case and death data and other information like “ZIP codes, occupations, living conditions, and known contacts with others ill with COVID-19.” 

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