Experts Raise Concerns Over New HHS Guidance For COVID-19 Reporting System; CDC Removes, Then Restores, Data On Website

STAT: How HHS’s new hospital data reporting system will actually affect the U.S. Covid-19 response
“…The Department of Health and Human Services changed the rules, quietly, earlier this week: Hospitals would be required to report data on Covid-19 patients and deaths directly to their agency, rather than to both HHS and the CDC, as they had been doing. HHS said it would help the administration better allocate supplies and drugs. But CDC supporters saw it as further evidence of the agency being sidelined, and hospitals decried the implication that it was their reporting — rather than changing federal requirements — that was to blame for data issues and supply shortages. Nearly everyone had questions about how, exactly, it would all work. And days later, the nation’s top public health experts are still scrambling to figure out how seriously this new policy change will impact the Covid-19 response in the U.S…” (Florko/Boodman, 7/16).

Washington Post: Disappearance of covid-19 data from CDC website spurs outcry
“On the eve of a new coronavirus reporting system this week, data disappeared from a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website as hospitals began filing information to a private contractor or their states instead. A day later, an outcry — including from other federal health officials — prompted the Trump administration to reinstate that dashboard and another daily CDC report on the pandemic. And on Thursday, the nation’s governors joined the chorus of objections over the abruptness of the change to the reporting protocols for hospitals, asking the administration to delay the shift for 30 days. In a statement, the National Governors Association said hospitals need the time to learn a new system, as they continue to deal with this pandemic. The governors also urged the administration to keep the information publicly available…” (Sun/Goldstein, 7/16).

CNBC: Coronavirus data has already disappeared after Trump administration shifted control from CDC (Feuer, 7/16).

POLITICO: Who took down the CDC’s coronavirus data? The agency itself (Diamond et al., 7/16).

Science: Data secrecy is crippling attempts to slow COVID-19’s spread in U.S., epidemiologists warn (Piller, 7/16).

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