2020-07-16

North American observation丨Trump administration “takes over” epidemic data, politics completely overwhelms science?

By yqqlm yqqlm

Under the ravages of the New Coronary Pneumonia epidemic, the Trump administration suddenly ordered all American hospitals to”bypass” the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and report all patient information to a central database in Washington from July 15. The move shocked public health experts, who were concerned about the decline in the transparency of epidemic data and exacerbating the current”politicization of the epidemic” in the United States.

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△The New York Times stated that the Trump administration deprived the CDC of the new crown virus data Control power

The epidemic data was”escalated” and reported

According to the”New York Times”, the US government has requested the hospital to stop sending epidemic-related information to the US from July 15 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (hereinafter referred to as the”Center for Disease Control”) is reported directly to the US Department of Health and Human Services (hereinafter referred to as the”Department of Health”).

Previously, all hospitals in the United States reported epidemic data to the National Health Care Safety Network of the Centers for Disease Control, which is regarded as the most widely used infection tracking system in the United States. The request of the Trump administration is equivalent to asking the hospital to”bypass” the CDC located in Atlanta and directly”escalate” to report To the Department of Health in Washington.

This directive from the Trump administration was written in an obscure document on the website of the Ministry of Health. The directive states that from now on, the Ministry of Health—not the Centers for Disease Control—will collect daily patients being treated in various hospitals, the number of available beds and ventilators, and other important information related to the outbreak.

The Trump administration’s explanation for this is that this change will simplify data collection and assist the White HouseCoronavirus The working group should allocate scarce materials, including personal protective equipment and potential treatment drugs ridxivir. But the problem is that the Ministry of Health database responsible for collecting the reported information is not open to the outside world, so it may affect the work of researchers and health officials-they have long relied on the data of the CDC to make decisions and make predictions.

“Historically, the CDC has been the place to receive public health data, (this move by the Trump administration) has raised many questions, including the access rights of researchers, and journalists and even the public. Access rights,” said Jan Kates, director of the non-partisan Caesar Family Foundation’s Global Health and AIDS Policy,”How to protect data? Will there be transparency? Will there be access rights? CDC’s role in understanding data is What?”

Ministry of Health spokesperson Michael Caputo said that the CDC system is not perfect, and said that the two systems will be connected in the future, and the CDC can continue to disclose data .”Today, the CDC still has a lag of at least a week in reporting hospital data.” Caputo said,”But the United States needs real-time information on the epidemic. The new, faster and more complete data system will help the United States defeat the New Coronavirus is essential. The CDC, as an operating department of the Ministry of Health, will definitely participate in this simplified government-wide work.”

But the outside world is not satisfied with the Ministry of Health’s explanation. At present, many public health experts have come forward to attack the Trump administration’s “marginalized” CDC from multiple angles.

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△CNN said that the hospital data will now be reported to the Trump administration instead of the CDC

the CDC will be squeezed out again

The Lampe government”takes over” the epidemic information on the grounds of simplifying data collection, but according to the”New York Times”, two officials who asked not to be named said the change in the way this information was reported has shocked the CDC. In addition, even if the government says it will still make the data public, there are still concerns about transparency and”politicization.”

“It is a dangerous thing to concentrate control of all data in an inherent political institution, and breeds a sense of distrust.” Ni, who was an assistant secretary of prevention and response in the Obama administration But Lu Rui said,”This also weakens the CDC’s ability to complete some basic tasks.”

CNN Chief Medical Journalist Sanjay Gupta said that the Trump administration’s approach will lead to The epidemic data becomes more opaque,”What’s the point of taking data from epidemiologists? These epidemiologists are the best in the world. They observe these data, understand it, and translate it for the public.”

On July 15, local time, Richard Besser, the former acting director of the CDC, said that the federal government required the epidemic data to”skip” the CDC’s practice, showing that the CDC again Once squeezed out, the CDC was squeezed out again. He believes that the data should not only be collected by the CDC, but also released to the public through the media every day. He warned that under the control of the federal government, the epidemic data may be”further politicized”, which is”the last thing people want to see.”

Some people may ask why the CDC, also affiliated with the federal government, collects data so that the outside world is less concerned about the issue of”politicization”? This is because the CDC takes the protection of public health and safety as its responsibility, and traditionally focuses on professionalism rather than politics. Many of its practices during the epidemic were relatively independent of the federal government. For example, it recently issued a guide to resuming security that dissatisfied Trump.

“One of the benefits of the Center for Disease Control (headquarters) in Atlanta is that it is far from Washington, which allows us to avoid a lot of political pressure. When you are in Washington, you will feel this pressure.” Besser pointed out. Of course, he also agrees that the CDC system needs to be modernized, but added that the answer is not to”bypass” the CDC, but to work hard to ensure that the system is upgraded.

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△The four former directors of the Centers for Disease Control issued an article in the Washington Post, saying that no president has politicized science like Trump.

“Never seen Science has been so deeply influenced by politics”

There is a view that the Trump administration’s “takeover” of epidemic data is not only another exclusion of the CDC, but also its attempt to “marginalize””The latest attempt by a public health expert.

Previously, White House officials sent information to multiple media listing the”untrue statements” by Anthony Fudge, a key member of the White House Coronavirus Response Working Group and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Including him in January this year, the New Corona virus”does not pose a major threat to the American people”,”asymptomatic people are unlikely to spread the virus”, and in March,”wearing a mask to fight against the New Corona virus is not effective,” etc., seemingly intentionally weakened Fuchs’ credibility as the top infectious disease expert in the United States.

On July 15, Peter Navarro, a White House trade consultant, publicly published an article”bombarding” Fucci, saying that Foch’s many judgments in the process of responding to the epidemic were wrong, and appealed to the outside world for Foch The proposal should be”skeptical and cautious”. Foch responded that day, the White House was not wise to attack him, and may eventually self-defeating.

The White House launched a”discriminatory war” against public health experts trusted by society, which has caused a widespread rebound in the US public health community. The “bypass” of the CDC’s “takeover” of the epidemic information has further intensified criticism of the Trump administration for disrespecting experts.

Four former directors of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a column in the Washington Post recently, saying that”the science has never been so deeply influenced by politics.” They also wrote:”During our tenure, we do not remember any time when political pressure changed the scientific interpretation.” At the time when public health experts are being”harassed” by American politics, four former health officials chose this When it sounds, it attracts great attention from the outside world.

The four former directors of the Centers for Disease Control also wrote:”Unfortunately, science is being challenged by partisan politics. When the American people need leadership, expertise, and clarity, sow chaos and Seeds of distrust… When we need them most, public health officials are harassed, threatened, and forced to resign. This is unreasonable and dangerous.” They pointed out that current US public health experts face two major opponents:The new crown virus and people who try to”discriminate” them. (Gu Xiang, CCTV reporter)