The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) told Congress on Friday that he was not directly involved in the Trump administration’s decision to stop hospitals from sending COVID-19 data directly to the agency.
The administration earlier this month told hospitals to start reporting hospitalization and testing data to a new health and human database run by a private contractor, bypassing the CDC.
“We were not directly involved in the final decision, but what I can say is this: the CDC then and now continues to have access to all the data, it does all the data analysis, so there is no limit to any of the data,” said Robert. Redfield told the House Select subcommittee about the coronavirus response.
Rep. Maxine Waters Redfield on CDC grill over Trump administrator’s decision on hospital data to bypass his ward pic.twitter.com/eScqtT2QNb
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Redfield, in question of reputation Maxine Waters (D-California), said he was told about the change after the decision was made by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the parent agency of the CDC.
He added that he had not discussed the decision with HHS Secretary Alex Hazard or Vice President Pence, who led the COVID-19 administration’s response.
Redfield said the purpose of the switch was to improve access to real-time hospitalization data so the administration could have a better idea of where to send remdezivir, a drug that has been shown to treat COVID-19.
“I think the reason for the changes was to ensure that people could get access to the desk in a timely manner,” Redfield said.
The change has been criticized by some public health experts, who are concerned that the administration is removing the CDC in its response to the coronavirus.