Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), angered by the Trump administration’s requirement that hospitals bypass the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and report coronavirus data directly to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), said that hospitals should tell the president to “GO TO HELL.”
“Hospitals! Trump is now telling you NOT to report #coronavirus data to the CDC. Tell him to GO TO HELL!” the California lawmaker exclaimed. “Doesn’t he understand people are dying?? Report! Report! Report!”:
Hospitals! Trump is now telling you NOT to report #coronavirus data to the CDC. Tell him to GO TO HELL! Doesn’t he understand people are dying?? Report! Report! Report!
— Maxine Waters (@RepMaxineWaters) July 16, 2020
Waters’ demand follows the Trump administration’s request that hospitals change the way they report coronavirus data, reporting it directly to the Department of Health and Human Services rather than the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN).
“As of July 15, 2020, hospitals should no longer report the Covid-19 information in this document to the National Healthcare Safety Network site,” HHS said in a document detailing how hospitals should move forward.
The administration indicated it was making the changes to ease the process, as health officials acknowledge the shortfalls of the CDC’s reporting system.
“In order to meet the needs for flexibility of data gathering, CDC has agreed to remove the National Health Safety Network from the collection process in order to streamline reporting,” CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said.
“This has no effect on CDCs ability to use data and continue to churn out daily data, the MMWRs and the guidance that we publish,” he added.
As CNBC reported:
The change raised questions about the integrity of the process. Some former health officials worry the move could result in less transparent data, although they acknowledged in interviews that the CDC’s data collection system is outdated and doesn’t meet the demands of the Covid-19 pandemic.
HHS spokesman Michael Caputo told the outlet that the CDC’s data gathering system is “an inadequate system today” and assured that HHS is “committed to being transparent with the American public about the information it is collecting on the coronavirus.”
“Therefore, HHS has directed CDC to re-establish the coronavirus dashboards it withdrew from the public on Wednesday,” he announced, noting the HHS would provide “more powerful insights.”
In May, Waters’ older sister, 86, died after contracting the Chinese coronavirus following hip surgery.
“From that point she went down,” Waters told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes. “She was a matter of a couple of weeks and she was gone.”