White House Has Heard Enough, Orders Hospitals Not To Share Info To CDC

OPINION | This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.

The Trump administration is reportedly telling hospitals not to give their coronavirus information to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) amid worries about a potential second wave.

Trump has assured he has the global pandemic under control and that the spike in the number of cases is merely a reflection of increased testing.

So, hospitals have been instructed to follow a new system of reporting their coronavirus figures.

“The White House told hospitals to stop reporting key data about their patients to the CDC, and to instead feed it into a new system that will flow directly to the Health and Human Services Department, which oversees the CDC,” Axios reports.

The Trump administration claims streamlining the process of collecting coronavirus information will save time and resources that the coronavirus task force can direct elsewhere.

Axios reports the announcement comes months after the White House has clashed with the CDC and its guidelines in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. Trump has vocalized an interest in reopening the economy but the CDC has claimed that the country is still months away from that effort.

From Axios:

Between the lines: Experts told the NYT that the CDC’s data collection systems are flawed, but some questioned whether the administration’s new system would be significantly more efficient, on top of their questions about its transparency.

  • The CDC “will certainly participate” in the new process, but “will simply no longer control it,” HHS spokesperson Michael Caputo told the Times.

Context: The CDC is increasingly under fire from the White House and its Republican allies.

  • President Trump and Vice President Pence both criticized CDC guidance that called for opening schools only with extensive social distancing measures in place.

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  • Trump and senior White House officials previously complained about the CDC’s decision to include “presumptive” coronavirus deaths — people who died after experiencing the symptoms of coronavirus, but had not been tested for it — in the official death tally.