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Covid-19: Trump sidelines “lying” CDC from collecting mortality data

BMJ 2020; 370 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m2855 (Published 15 July 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;370:m2855

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  1. Owen Dyer
  1. Montreal, Canada

Data on hospital admissions and deaths from covid-19 in the US are no longer being sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), after the Trump administration told hospital officials to send it instead to a federally contracted health data company, starting on 15 July.

The move to strip the nation’s premier health agency of its principal function during a pandemic is unprecedented and raises questions about the government’s purpose in corralling the data.

The new rule dates from 10 July but was posted inconspicuously on the Department of Health and Human Services website, and only attracted media notice on 14 July.

It says, “As of 15 July 2020, hospitals should no longer report the covid-19 information in this document to the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) site.”1

Instead of the NHSN—the country’s source of infectious disease data for decades—hospitals may send the information through their state, if they already were, or directly to TeleTracking, a Pittsburgh based health data company that has been awarded a …

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