The New York Times reports hospitals have been ordered to bypass the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and send all patient information to a central database in Washington beginning on Wednesday, raising questions about transparency.
The new instructions were posted recently on the Department of Health and Human Services website (DHHS). From now on, the DHHS — not the C.D.C. — will collect daily reports about the patients that each hospital is treating, the number of available beds and ventilators, and other information vital to tracking the pandemic.
Officials say the change will streamline data gathering and assist the White House coronavirus task force in allocating scarce supplies like personal protective gear and remdesivir, the first drug shown to be effective against the virus. But the New York Times notes the Health and Human Services database that will receive new information is not open to the public, which could affect the work of scores of researchers, modelers and health officials who rely on C.D.C. data to make projections and crucial decisions.