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Hospitals Should Tell Trump to Shove His Orders and Send Their Data to the CDC Anyway

This is nuke-the-moon-to-control-the-tides crazy.

This is Bond-villain level evil. (Photo: Drew AngererGetty Images)

This is Bond-villain level evil. (Photo: Drew AngererGetty Images)

Don’t worry. Maybe your great-grandchildren will be able to go to Europe. From the New York Times:

The Trump administration has ordered hospitals to bypass the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and, beginning on Wednesday, send all coronavirus patient information to a central database in Washington — a move that has alarmed public health experts who fear the data will be distorted for political gain.
The new instructions are contained in a little-noticed document posted this week on the Department of Health and Human Services’ website, Sheryl Gay Stolberg reports. From now on, H.H.S., and not the C.D.C., will collect daily reports about the patients that each hospital is treating, how many beds and ventilators are available, and other information vital to tracking the pandemic ...
“Centralizing control of all data under the umbrella of an inherently political apparatus is dangerous and breeds distrust,” said Nicole Lurie, who served as assistant secretary for preparedness and response under former President Barack Obama. “It appears to cut off the ability of agencies like C.D.C. to do its basic job.”

This is crazy. This is evil. This is nuke-the-moon-to-control-the-tides crazy. This is Bond-villain level evil.

The CDC was so long considered the gold standard on public health that a number of countries set up their own versions, which they called the CDC. But because science and empiricism and reason itself are anathema to the administration*, we have to rely on some unnamed “central database,” which is probably in one of Ivanka’s handbags, handling the data with no oversight at all. Of course, no thinking person would trust Camp Runamuck to handle a fork right now. Hospitals should tell the administration* to shove its “orders” and send the data to the CDC anyway. It’s time for hundreds of little rebellions.

Charles P. Pierce

Charles P. Pierce

Charles P. Pierce is a writer-at-large for Esquire and his work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the LA Times Magazine, the Nation, the Atlantic, Sports Illustrated and The Chicago Tribune, among others.

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