From The New York Times:
The Trump administration has ordered hospitals to bypass the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and send all Covid-19 patient information to a central database in Washington beginning on Wednesday. The move has alarmed health experts who fear the data will be politicized or withheld from the public.
The new instructions were posted recently in a little-noticed document on the Department of Health and Human Services website. From now on, the department — not the C.D.C. — will collect daily reports about the patients that each hospital is treating, the number of available beds and ventilators, and other information vital to tracking the pandemic.
To make matters worse, the HHS data archives are not open to the public — meaning the American people cannot independently verify any of the information. In other words, the Republicans are consolidating control of data in the hands of a centralized big government, because it's one that they have power over.
A spokesperson for HHS told the Times that the decision was made because CDC's data collection was inefficient. That spokesperson claimed that CDC's data was lagging about a week behind, and that CDC and HHS would ultimately be sharing data. But this conflicts with a memo from the HHS, which states, "As of July 15, 2020, hospitals should no longer report the Covid-19 information in this document to the National Healthcare Safety Network site."
Instead, HHS will route their data through a private company called TeleTracking, based in Pittsburgh. Read the rest
The Washington Post reports that the Trump Administration is laying the necessary groundwork to warehouse the children of migrants who enter the United States illegally on military bases in Texas and Arkansas. The bases will be used to contain anyone under the age of 18 who crosses the border illegally with their parents or on their own.
In a leaked email sent to Pentagon personnel, it was disclosed that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) would be making visits to four military installations in the coming weeks to evaluate whether they contain infrastructure suitable for sheltering children.
From the Washington Post:
An official at HHS confirmed the military site visits. Speaking on condition of anonymity because the plans are not yet public, the official said HHS currently has the bed space to hold 10,571 children in its network of 100 foster-care facilities.
Those facilities are at 91 percent capacity, the HHS official said, and the Trump administration’s crackdown plans could push thousands more children into government care. The official said DHS has not provided projections for how many additional children to expect.
The move to assess the suitability of housing on military property comes in the wake of the Trump Administration's escalating war on migrants and asylum seekers hoping for the shelter, protection and opportunity that the United States once stood for. With escalating violence in Mexico, South and Central America, there could be no worse time to exclude vulnerable people from entering the country, illegally or otherwise. Read the rest