Cover In Progress: Trump Orders Hospitals To Bypass CDC And Send COVID-19 Patient Data Straight To His Administration
Experts are highly concerned about Donald Trump’s latest move that appears to be a manipulation of the coronavirus data.
Overnight, the Trump administration ordered all hospitals to immediately stop reporting coronavirus patient data to the independent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and start sending that information to the already politicized Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Experts fear that the Trump administration could corrupt the information and even politicize it as a tool to get Trump reelected.
If this weren’t bad enough, Trump also threatened hospitals if they don’t comply.
Hospitals and states that do not comply with this change will lose access to one of the very few, and therefore vital COVID-19 drugs: Remdesivir, according to the thinly-veiled threat in the new directive.
“This data will be used to inform decisions at the federal level, such as allocation of supplies, treatments, and other resources,” the 13-page directive reads. “We will no longer be sending out one-time requests for data to aid in the distribution of Remdesivir or any other treatments or supplies. This daily reporting is the only mechanism used for the distribution calculations, and the daily is needed daily to ensure accurate calculations.”
The Nobel Peace Prize-winning NGO Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) delivered a dire warning on the change, saying public health experts “fear this will enable the administration to distort and politicize scientific data.”
“Requiring medical facilities to bypass the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when reporting coronavirus patient data could allow the Trump administration to manipulate and misrepresent data in a way that fits a political agenda rather than science,” PHR’s senior medical advisor Ranit Mishori, MD, MHS, said in a statement. “This administration has shown again and again that its coronavirus crisis response and public statements about the severity of the pandemic in the United States have not been grounded in science and medical evidence. The politicization of science has contributed to an overall failure to respond quickly and adequately to the pandemic, leading to devastating cases of illness and death.”
Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, Peter Chin-Hongis a “medical educator who specializes in treating infectious diseases, particularly infections that develop in patients who have suppressed immune systems. He issued this dire warning:
Knot in my stomach. Hospital #COVID19 data will now be sent to Trump admin-NOT #CDC. What this means:1)impacts what data public sees 2)affects nation’s views on disparities, school reopenings, remdesivir allocation & more 3)#standupforscience https://t.co/wgCSNugKie
— Peter Chin-Hong MD (@PCH_SF) July 15, 2020
Other health experts also chimed in on the recent Trump administration move.
Atrium Health’s Chief Strategy Officer Rasu B. Shrestha, MD, MBA, an informatician and pragmatic futurist warns, “Now’s NOT the time to politicize the CDC!”
Former CDC acting director Dr. Richard Besser told CNN, “Given how political the response has been to date, it’s a step backwards to have these data going directly to HHS in Washington.”
He calls it “another example of CDC being sidelined. Not only should the data be coming to CDC, but CDC should be talking to the public through the media every day.”
Former federal prosecutor and former Counsel to Attorney General Janet Reno, Shanlon Wu, said the following:
“Trump moves from lying about data to seizing the data by ordering that CDC be excluded from receiving Covid-19 data & considers using the National Guard to collect data from hospitals – these are the actions of an authoritarian regime.”
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