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White House tells hospitals to bypass CDC on COVID-19 data reporting
Hospitals will begin sending coronavirus-related information directly to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), not the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), under new instructions from the Trump administration.
The move will take effect on Wednesday, according to a new guidance and FAQ document for hospitals and clinical labs quietly posted on the HHS website.
Previously, hospitals reported to the CDC's National Healthcare Safety Network, which the agency describes as the nation's most widely used health care-associated infection tracking system.
The CDC tracked information including how many beds are available, the number of ventilators available and how many COVID-19 patients the hospitals have.
Beginning Wednesday, hospitals will report the same data but will bypass the CDC and send it to HHS directly.
According to HHS, the goal is to streamline data collection, which will be used to inform decisions at the federal level such as allocation of supplies, treatments and other resources.
But the move comes amid concerns that the White House has been sidelining the CDC and after Trump administration officials attacked Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert and a member of the White House coronavirus task force.