The Trump administration has quietly altered the regulations governing the collection of information related to COVID-19. Many theories and ideas suggest that the numbers are being inflated due to federal definitions of what constitutes a “COVID death,” despite assurances to the contrary from experts. In light of the upcoming US election cycle, the current administration’s efficacy and dependability are hot topics of conversation.
It’s partly because the relevant parties are spreading false or incomplete information. Donald Trump has repeatedly cast doubt on Dr. Anthony Fauci’s qualifications, saying that the world-renowned physician who has advised six presidents on health-related issues is mistaken while he is right. Many people now question the truthfulness of information coming from the Trump administration, despite the fact that the CDC’s findings tend to contradict these concerns.
For this reason, the recently implemented regulation shift is monumental. The Trump Administration has seized control of the information available to the public by requiring hospitals to report directly to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) rather than letting the CDC publish the data. No one noticed that this changed on July 15th, when it went into effect quietly. Traditionally, hospitals reported to the HSS and the CDC, with the latter making the data public.
Independent researchers and universities tracking the COVID-19 numbers can no longer do what they usually do because the statistics typically seen in casual conversation are not ones released by the HSS but rather by the CDC. The Trump administration claims they are making this change to more efficiently process data. There aren’t that many people who think this way.
Even Robert Redfield, the CDC’s director, admitted that the agency was slow to release information when it was criticised.
The CDC’s access to information and data will not be compromised, and he claims that the change will reduce both confusion and redundant reporting.
The public is not happy, especially since some red states have just recently blocked local governments from enforcing mask laws. The governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp, recently issued an executive order banning the enforcement of a “Mask mandate” by local governments and municipalities in the state. This effectively removes the ability of local governments in Georgia to mandate that citizens wear masks in public.
The idea is “a bridge too far” for him, and he has stood firm in defence of his stance. Also, he said he supports wearing masks, but he won’t stand for it being made mandatory by the government. The executive order also prohibits gatherings of more than fifty people, which is an unusual restriction given that schools are scheduled to open across the state.
In the midst of this pandemic, it has become common for government officials to make decisions that are bad for the population. The doctors have had to quickly adapt to a new system, process, and way of reporting after the Trump administration decided to switch hospitals from reporting to the CDC and HHS to just the HHS. Doctors have been complaining for the better part of the last two decades that the administrative tasks of hospitals in the United States are not doctor appropriate, so this is an unnecessary burden on them. Extra administrative work is the last thing doctors need right now, when they should be focusing on treating patients.
In addition, as was mentioned before, the systematic assault on Dr. Fauci by the Trump Administration is another reason why the public believes that access to information is being stifled. The Trump administration sent a letter to various media outlets explaining why Dr. Fauci should not be trusted as a source. Before the virus had spread widely earlier in the year, they cited his assurance that there was no reason for alarm. This is dishonest, as health professionals everywhere hoped that simple measures like wearing masks and staying indoors would stem the tide of the pandemic.
This is especially worrisome because politicians often employ similar strategies to silence their rivals. The Trump administration has actively prevented Dr. Fauci from appearing on television and other media outlets, treating him as a political enemy. He frequently gives interviews on other websites, where he neither insults nor defends the Trump organisation, but instead elaborates on the importance of concealment and distance in modern society.
The United States is one of only a handful of countries where COVID-19 cases are on the rise because so many people are either unable or unwilling to follow the guidelines. Because of this, the current, unrelenting push to establish educational institutions appears all the more perilous. While it is crucial that young people receive an education, it would be unethical to put them at risk by exposing them to the COVID-19 virus at a time when states across the country are reporting an alarming increase in cases.
The problem with expanding access to higher education, which is at the heart of his campaign to build new classrooms, caught him off guard. Because there are no longer any requirements for colleges to provide on-campus classes, the administration has recently informed international students that they must return to their home country. There was an uproar of disapproval due to a number of factors. As a result, many schools with a large international student population had to institute on-campus attendance policies to give international students a reason to remain in the country.
This meant that students from other countries either had to return home or take the risk of contracting COVID-19. The fact that different nations have taken different approaches to the pandemic compounds the difficulty, as does the fact that those who travel to an infected country during the pandemic run the risk of bringing the disease back with them.
After being sued by MIT and Harvard over the ethical implications of this situation, the Trump administration reversed its decision.
The Trump administration has made a series of questionable decisions regarding the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, and many people are upset and concerned about the new method of data compilation and dissemination. Many people are worried because the government will have direct control and an election is coming up soon.
People are now investigating stories more thoroughly to determine their veracity in the face of a wave of “alternative facts” and “fake news,” but information about COVID-19 is no longer as accessible as it once was. As of right now, there are no updates on the CDC site on the numbers, as there had been since the entire pandemic began, so it is unclear whether this change will provide faster results.
It will be important to keep an eye on the upcoming election.
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