In accordance with new instructions handed down by the Trump administration, hospitals will now be sending information pertaining to the coronavirus to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) instead of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
This new directive, which was quietly published on the HHS website, will begin on Wednesday, according to The Hill.
As Forbes writes:
According to the report, earlier drafts of the letters to governors would have directed them to deploy the National Guard to help hospitals with daily data submissions; now it includes the National Guard as one of many options.
This suggestion has apparently irritated hospital industry leaders, who have grown annoyed with changing instructions from HHS.
Up until this point hospitals had been giving relevant data to the CDC's National Healthcare Safety Network, which was described by that agency as the most commonly referenced health-related infection tracking system in the U.S.
The CDC had been keeping tabs on critical metrics, including how many hospital beds are open, how many ventilators are available, and how many COVID-stricken patients were in each hospital.
The CDC will now be bypassed, with that info to begin going directly to HHS.
HHS contends that this will make data gathering more efficient, and help the federal government make better decisions when it comes to divvying up treatments/resources to areas in need.
However, the move also comes after officials from the Trump administration have leveled attacks against the U.S.'s top infectious disease expert, Anthony Fauci, and during a time where concern has been expressed over the White House's dismissal of the CDC.
To that note, on Monday Trump re-tweeted an accusation from game show host Chuck Woolery that put the CDC in a group of people (that included doctors?) he claimed were lying to tank the economy and cost Trump the election:
Phasing out the CDC, on the heels of re-tweeting a conspiratorial rant from the original host of the Love Connection is, of course, very reassuring. On an unrelated note (continue to) wear a mask.