Media Outlets Examines U.S. Use Of COVID-19 Data To Inform Decisionmaking; Question Latest White House Death Estimates

CNN: Top doctor says White House coronavirus task force still missing 50% of testing data
“Dr. Deborah Birx said that the White House coronavirus task force is missing 50% of the data for coronavirus tests that have been conducted. Birx, one of the top officials on the White House’s coronavirus task force, said Thursday that part of the $2 trillion economic stimulus measure that was signed into law by President Donald Trump requires that all tests conducted get reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But Birx says she has not received that data yet…” (Hoffman/Kelly, 4/2).

CNN: How Fauci and Birx got Trump to listen to science
“…Summoned to the Oval Office last weekend to state their case for keeping the country closed, Fauci and Birx arrived armed with tangled multicolored lines, stippled mountains of various heights and one ominous inky blue bell curve showing American deaths from coronavirus rising to 2.2 million if social distancing efforts were abandoned. … Still, the charts — printed in color and blown up for effect — seemed to work, even as some of Trump’s advisers now question their accuracy. Trump announced hours later he was extending his coronavirus guidelines another 30 days, despite a strong inclination to open the nation for business…” (Liptak, 4/2).

STAT: Americans are underestimating how long coronavirus disruptions will last, health experts say
“Public health experts are increasingly worried that Americans are underestimating how long the coronavirus pandemic will disrupt everyday life in the country, warning that the Trump administration’s timelines are offering many a false sense of comfort…” (Branswell, 4/3).

Washington Post: Experts and Trump’s advisers doubt White House’s 240,000 coronavirus deaths estimate
“Leading disease forecasters, whose research the White House used to conclude 100,000 to 240,000 people will die nationwide from the coronavirus, were mystified when they saw the administration’s projection this week. The experts said they don’t challenge the numbers’ validity but that they don’t know how the White House arrived at them. White House officials have refused to explain how they generated the figure — a death toll bigger than the United States suffered in the Vietnam War or the 9/11 terrorist attacks. They have not provided the underlying data so others can assess its reliability or provided long-term strategies to lower that death count…” (Wan et al., 4/2).

The KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report summarized news and information on global health policy from hundreds of sources, from May 2009 through December 2020. All summaries are archived and available via search.

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