The Trump administration has altered reporting guidelines for hospitals handling Covid-19 patients, asking them to directly send their data to the state or the HHS — bypassing the CDC — and it is also pushing governors to consider using the National Guard at hospitals to help collect the data the Washington Post reported.
- According to the report, earlier drafts of the letters to governors would have directed them to deploy the National Guard to help hospitals with daily data submissions; now it includes the National Guard as one of many options.
- The suggestion of using National Guard troops has irked hospital industry leaders who say that problems with data collection are due to repeatedly changing instructions from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the report added.
- In its most recent guidance to hospitals, HHS has changed its protocols for Covid-19 data reporting, asking hospitals to send their data to their state or federal contractor instead of the CDC.
- The new guidance has eliminated direct contact between the CDC and hospitals, reversing the original mandate issued by the White House asking hospital administrators to send reports on coronavirus testing, capacity, utilization and patient flow to the agency on a daily basis.
- Trump and his staffers have publicly criticized the CDC on multiple occasions of late, with the President retweeting an accusation that the agency was lying about Covid-19 numbers to keep “the economy from coming back”
- White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany also attacked the agency, stating that “some rogue individuals” at the CDC were leaking coronavirus guidelines prematurely.
“Given our track record of being cooperative to evolving data requests, it’s perplexing that the possibility of using the National Guard has been suggested,” said Rick Pollack, president of the American Hospital Association, told the Washington Post. “It makes no sense. Certainly the expertise of the National Guard can be used in a more productive way.”