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Coronavirus Data Will Now Skip CDC, Go Directly to the White House

Public health experts were not thrilled with the decision.

The second wave of the coronavirus crisis appears to be accelerating at a fairly alarming pace over the course of the last few weeks, with several states around the nation being forced to slip back into their lockdown protocol on account of a surge in cases.

This has been most notable in Florida, where amusement parks have been reopening, beaches have been packed, and several entire progressional leagues’ worth of athletes have amassed.

The undulation has been annoying at best, and dangerous at worst, creating a situation in which several different levels of local and federal authorities are all vying for the same data.  Now, the White House is looking to reconfigure the avenues by which this information travels.

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The Trump administration has ordered hospitals to bypass the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and send all COVID-19 patient information to a central database in Washington starting Wednesday, according to a Health and Human Services document updated July 10.

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Michael Caputo, HHS assistant secretary for public affairs, said in a statement the new coronavirus data collection system would be “faster,” adding that the CDC has a one-week lag in reporting hospital data.

“The President’s Coronavirus Task Force has urged improvements for months, but they cannot keep up with this pandemic,” he said. “Today, the CDC still provides data from only 85 percent of hospitals; the President’s COVID response requires 100 percent to report.”

Hospitals have been instructed to no longer report data to the National Healthcare Safety Network site, the CDC’s tracking system that serves over 25,000 medical facilities in the country, according to the The New York Times.

Public health experts were quick to complain about the decision, claiming that such a change will only usher in confusion among medical professionals.

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