America Lacks Attention to Data

Countries like South Korea and New Zealand have reaped the benefits of tracking COVID-19 data in painstaking detail—as Amy Maxmen shows in a Twitter thread showing several countries’ COVID-19 dashboards. (She’s “enamored” with Singapore’s.)
 
The US, however, provides “vanishingly few details” on COVID-19's spread and is suffering the consequences, Maxmen reports in Nature.
 
A panoply of systemic failures contribute to the US info deficit: 

  • Information must make its way from local health departments to the feds—and a lot of data goes missing. 
  • Information is made public far too late. (An overnight camp cluster that infected 250 people in Georgia wasn’t reported until over a month later.) 
  • A new data collection system rolled out in July has been up to a week late reporting data.
  • Another telling detail: “many health departments still share data by fax.”
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