Till now, the statistics and briefing on the coronavirus pandemic in the US were compiled after being sent to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, However, the Trump administration has announced that the coronavirus data will now go straight to Washington database instead of the health agency.
According to the report by the Health and Human Services document, the new change encourages faster updates on the progress over the pandemic in the country, thereby leading to quicker decisions and actions.
The assistant secretary for public affairs of the HHS Michael Caputo, says that the database will collect information regarding the health crisis quicker than the CDC since the health agency’s reported data from the hospitals is a week behind.
“The President’s Coronavirus Task Force has urged improvements for months, but they cannot keep up with this pandemic,” Caputo said.
“Today, the CDC still provides data from only 85 percent of hospitals; the President’s COVID response requires 100 percent to report. The CDC, an operating division of HHS, will certainly participate in this streamlined all-of-government response. They will simply no longer control it.” He added.
However, other health professionals disagree about the increasingly changing decisions regarding the coronavirus pandemic protocols. The majority of the medical community has spoken against the politicization of the pandemic, saying that it will only hurt the little progress made over the crisis in the country.
The president of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, Dr. Thomas File, says that medical data should only be handled and compiled by health agencies and professionals.
In case the data is handed over to authorities outside of the medical community, it can raise serious concerns over the accuracy and the quality of the data and pave the way for further problems in the US.
Furthermore, Dr. File also added that the collection of coronavirus data or data on health overall is one of the primary responsibilities of the CDC. Taking away the authority to do so from the organization only gives out the message that health professionals in the country are incompetent.
The Trump administration should not take such steps and follow advice from the medical community which includes health care workers, scientists, and disease experts on controlling the coronavirus pandemic.
The decision of sending the coronavirus data directly to the Washington database came right after four former directors of the CDC the Trump administration for the politicization of the pandemic as well as science.
They wrote that the administration’s constant efforts to change certain public health guidelines and politicize the pandemic can put millions of lives at risk and cause a lot of damage.
One of the former directors, Dr. David Satcher, who is also a former U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. David Satcher said that the Administration’s recent behavior towards the CDC and the crisis in the country is “very scary”.
The conflict between the health agency and the White House can not only damage the CDC’s position but also increase new infections and worsen the coronavirus pandemic in the country. Therefore, Dr. Satcher suggests there is a need for resolving the conflict as soon as possible.