Clouded Data and a Mask Mess in the US

Nurses in Stamford, Connecticut tend to a COVID-19 patient in an intensive care unit on April 24, 2020. Image: John Moore/Getty
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Nurses in Stamford, Connecticut tend to a COVID-19 patient in an intensive care unit on April 24, 2020. Image: John Moore/Getty

34 current and former key US health advisors have questioned the data integrity of a new US coronavirus database, The New York Times reports.

A letter by the experts connected to the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee was published as the US reached nearly 1,500 deaths in a single day—the highest daily number since mid-May, according to The Washington Post.

The letter argues against shifting responsibility for hospital data (including COVID-19 patient and bed numbers) from the CDC and to a private company, the Times reports. The data are used to direct the government response and resource allocation. 
 
A COVID Tracking Project analysis has found the new system’s data to be “erratic”—resulting in numbers higher or lower than the states’.

Meanwhile:  STAT reports that a $675 million US program distributed hundreds of millions of masks haphazardly—including 37,500 masks sent to a Florida charter school with 140 students.

Slender ray of hope? There are about 52,000 new cases per day in the US—a 10% drop from last week, Axios reports.  

Actually, cancel that: The US is doing about 10.5% fewer tests this week than last, Axios also reports.

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