The Trump administration has ordered a major change in COVID-19 data collection, instructing hospitals to bypass the CDC and send patient information to the Department of Health and Human Services, The New York Times reports.
The order, posted on the HHS website, overturns the CDC’s long history as the go-to resource for public health data.
The HHS database is not publicly available, leading public health experts to worry about transparency and access for researchers who depend on CDC data for modeling and projections.
- Administration officials: The CDC’s information systems are inadequate, and the shift will speed data gathering and allocation of resources like personal protective gear and remdesivir. And the CDC will still make the data accessible.
- Physicians for Human Rights: The change “could allow the Trump administration to manipulate and misrepresent data in a way that fits a political agenda rather than science.”
The move inflames concerns about the politicization of science under Trump, as expressed yesterday in a Washington Post op-ed by 4 former CDC directors.