The Trump administration stops the CDC from collecting COVID-19 hospitalization data

Earlier this week, the Trump administration ordered hospitals to stop reporting COVID-19 data to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and instead send everything to a private firm by the name of TeleTracking Technologies. I’m still trying to figure out exactly what’s going on here, but it seems as though, while the company had been awarded the contract back in April, no one really knew about it until a few days ago, when word came out from the White House that hospitals were no longer to submit their infectious disease data to the CDC, as they’d been doing for years… And, of course, it’s worth noting that this happened at roughly the same time Trump re-tweeted a post from Chuck Woolery about how the CDC was “lying” about COVID-19 to hurt the President’s reelection chances.

Senator Patty Murray, the senior Democrat on the Senate health panel, made the following statement yesterday, upon learning that the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network was essentially being sidelined by a private firm with no relevant expertise, in middle of a deadly pandemic. “C.D.C. has had a system in place for over a decade to track infection data, and hospitals and states know and trust this system,” Murray said. “So it’s entirely unclear why the Trump administration has asked states and hospitals to upend their reporting systems in the middle of a pandemic — in 48 hours nonetheless — without a single explanation as to why this new system is better or necessary.”

Given the Trump administration’s track record relative to transparency, people are understandably concerned, thinking that perhaps, as infection rates are rising across the country, and ICU’s are becoming overwhelmed, this may be an attempt to obscure hospitalization data from American voters in the run-up to the election. [According to the Washington Post, the CDC had been receiving data from about 3,000 hospitals — or roughly 60 percent of the nation’s hospitals — at the point hospitals were instructed to stop sending data.]

Among those organizations sounding the alarm is the National Governors Association, which issued a statement today requesting more time for hospitals to switch over to the new reporting system, and urging that the aggregated hospitalization data remain publicly available. “To ensure the accurate reporting of this data, governors are requesting a 30-day delay of these new requirements, in order for hospitals to learn a new system, as they continue to deal with this pandemic,” the statement said. “In addition, governors urge the administration to make this information publicly available.”

Again, there may well be a good reason for changing systems. If there is, though, it has not been clearly articulated. And no one, as far as I can tell, has explained why this switch had to happen now, in the middle of a pandemic that has already cost over 136,000 Americans their lives. Given this, I think it’s completely understandable why people are skeptical… and why, earlier today, when people went to the CDC site to check on infection rates, and found the page taken down, they freaked the fuck out.

[note: The CDC later in the day, brought their website back online, but did so with notice that they’ve been told to stop collecting data themselves.]

David Simon, I think, said it best. “This is national insanity. Your federal government is demanding you send your child into groups of 20 to 25 others during a pandemic, but denying you the data to make an informed decision as to whether by complying you risk the health of that child and your entire family.”

Speaking of putting our kids back into school, when White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany was asked today about Donald Trump’s instance that schools reopen, replied, “The science should not stand in the way of this.” [In her defense, McEnany, perhaps realizing what she’d said, later added, “The science is on our side here,” but it was clearly an afterthought. When she said, “The science should not stand in the way of this,” you can tell that she meant it.]

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  1. iRobert
    Posted July 17, 2020 at 5:21 am | Permalink

    Here are the updated 7-Day moving averages of daily US deaths, which continue to climb.

    July 4th: 519
    July 5th: 516
    July 6th: 517
    July 7th: 556
    July 8th: 586
    July 9th: 625
    July 10th: 657
    July 11th: 724
    July 12th: 741
    July 13th: 752
    July 14th: 745
    July 15th: 760
    July 16th: 761

  2. John Brown
    Posted July 17, 2020 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    Nor will science stand in the way of fascism. The use of unmarked DHS storm troopers to kidnap protesters in Portland is right outta Pinochet’s 1973 playbook. The right are the tyranny that must be crushed to protect America from destruction.

  3. Jean Henry
    Posted July 17, 2020 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    But FF was doing such a great job interpreting that data!!!

  4. Frosted Flakes
    Posted July 17, 2020 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    What do you mean ding dong?

  5. Lynne
    Posted July 17, 2020 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    IF you can’t get her meaning, FF, it means that YOU are the ding dong.

  6. Posted July 17, 2020 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    From USA Today:

    ‘Sink or swim’: GOP Gov. Larry Hogan says Trump left states to fight alone as COVID-19 pandemic raged

    FF and HW have to avoid reading these accounts by the governors regarding the Trump administration’s massive failure on mobilizing to deal with the pandemic. These two geniuses know better than the actual governors who had to pick up as much of the slack as they could.

  7. iRobert
    Posted July 17, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    …and FF doesn’t even have the excuse of being high as a kite on weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed.

  8. Frosted Flakes
    Posted July 17, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    What do you mean?

  9. Anonymous
    Posted July 17, 2020 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Maybe we should give FF a little slack. Sometimes he’s on point while other times he seems sincere but misses nuance and context. Then there are times that he is fixated on a detail that is very important to him while most of us have somehow determined that the detail is not substantive to the “conversation”. Maybe he’s not neurotypical and it’s important to keep that in mind when interpreting his statements.

  10. iRobert
    Posted July 17, 2020 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    What are you having trouble in understanding, FF?

  11. Frosted Flakes
    Posted July 17, 2020 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    I would be curious to hear what interpretations I have that you think are so off base? The whole point of me saying anything on here with regard to Covid has been an effort on my part to learn about the disease. Jean and Vague Guy have never said much of anything that has helped me further my understanding.

  12. Anonymous
    Posted July 17, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Res ipsa loquitur.

    I rest my case. It’s okay, FF. I don’t expect you to understand this post, but it’s not for you. It’s for everyone else so that they can understand how to interact with you. Very concretely and explicitly, it seems.

  13. Frosted Flakes
    Posted July 17, 2020 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    But it’s just more generalized attacks that are sourced in assumptions and vague notions. If most of your judgments are not grounded in anything substantial then you might find it useful to evaluate the end purpose of your comments.

  14. Anonymous
    Posted July 17, 2020 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Many of my responses to your posts made the assumption that you would understand the implicit meaning behind them, and that your own responses were to troll and draw out a desired reaction. I will no longer respond in this manner because I now believe that is not something you do. My bad.

  15. iRobert
    Posted July 17, 2020 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    I apologize for suggesting you are not high on weed, FF. I don’t really know whether or not you are. I was just making fun of HW’s addiction.

  16. Anonymous
    Posted July 17, 2020 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    “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,” Lena Sun and Amy Goldstein report.

  17. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted July 17, 2020 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    “HW’s addiction.”


  18. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted July 17, 2020 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    You seriously think weeed is addictive? What a little baby in the world of knowldege.

  19. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted July 17, 2020 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Baby iWob. Even Baby Lynne could teach you something.

  20. Lynne
    Posted July 17, 2020 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Weed doesn’t create a physical dependence but neither does gambling or sex. All of those things can be addicting.

  21. Posted July 17, 2020 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    When Trump speaks, all I hear is Stephen Miller.

  22. Wobblie
    Posted July 18, 2020 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    Aloha, if the Leader had not pulled our viral and contagious disease experts from China we might actually know if this theory is correct.
    But in the age of Trump. Ignorance is bliss

  23. Wobblie
    Posted July 19, 2020 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    Aloha, mission accomplished. MAGA

  24. Anonymous
    Posted July 19, 2020 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    Trump has indeed unified the country.

  25. Jean Henry
    Posted July 21, 2020 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    It’s going to be ok. Prayers and fasting will solve this public health emergency. Have some faith…

  26. EOS
    Posted July 21, 2020 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

  27. Posted August 16, 2020 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    Why do you suppose it is that Robert Trump’s cause of death isn’t being shared publicly?

  28. Wobblie
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    The word is brain bleeding complications from covid.

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