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 order hospitals to stop sending COVID- data. 19 directly to the agency.
The administration earlier this month told hospitals to start reporting the hospital and testing the data for a new Health and Human Services database managed by a private contractor, ignoring the CDC.
“We were not directly involved in the final decision but what I can say is this: CDC then and now still has access to all the data, does the data analytics, so there are no restrictions on some data, “Director Robert Redfield told the Select House Subcommittee on Coronavirus Response.
Rep. Maxine watersDefense of Maxine Moore WatersOvernight: Pompeo pressed to withdraw troops from Germany Panel goes down slightly for confirmation hearing | Trump meets family of soldier killed in Senate board signal dropping controversial Pentagon conference call last-minute Overnight Defense: Guardsman testifying Lafayette Square clearing was ‘unprovoked escalation’ | Dems push to withdraw controversial Pentagon candidate | Watchdog Says Pentagon Does Not Consider Climate Change Risks for Contractors MORE Redfield director at CDC grill over Trump administrator’s decision to hospital date to avoid his department pic.twitter.com/eScqtT2QNb
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Redfield, under questioning by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), Said he was told of the change after the decision was made by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the CDC’s lead agency.
He also said he did not discuss the decision with HHS Secretary Alex Azar or Vice President Pence, who led the COVID-19 administration’s response.
Redfield said the switch’s goal was to improve access to hospital data in real time so the administration could have a better idea of where to send Remdesivir, a drug that has been proven to treat COVID-19.
“I think the reason the changes were made was to make sure individuals could get access to a desk on time,” Redfield said.
The change has been criticized by some public health experts who worry the administration will be slowing the CDC in its response to the coronavirus.