20+ state AGs pen letter to HHS urging COVID-19 data be reported to CDC

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A group of 22 state attorneys general sent a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar July 28 urging the agency to "immediately withdraw" its recent changes to hospital data reporting protocol and restore oversight to the CDC. 

HHS on July 10 changed its protocols for COVID-19 data reporting, now requiring hospitals to send their data to their state or federal contractor instead of the CDC. HHS said that taking control of the daily reports will help the federal government better monitor resource usage and allocate supplies including personal protective equipment and antiviral drug remdesivir during the pandemic.

In their letter, the state AGs claim that HHS' new system puts hospital data in a separate system than nursing home data and gives control of critical information on hospitals, patients and COVID-19 spread to private contractors without ensuring the data will be protected and that public health authorities and researchers will have access.

"Your abrupt decision to bypass the CDC in this national crisis – made without public input and apparently without planning by public health and hospital experts – harms the nation’s ability to track and respond to the pandemic, hampers state and local public health authorities’ efforts to address the crisis in their communities, risks compromising the health data of millions of Americans, and undermines public confidence in any reports about COVID-19 coming from the federal government," the letter states. 

The officials call on HHS to rescind the new data reporting directive and restore the CDC as the primary repository for public health data. 

Here are the 22 state AGs who signed the letter: 

  • Maura Healey (Massachusetts) 
  • Xavier Bacerra (California) 
  • William Tong (Connecticut) 
  • Karl Racine (Washington, D.C.) 
  • Kathleen Jennings (Delaware) 
  • Clare Connors (Hawaii) 
  • Kwame Raoul (Illinois) 
  • Tom Miller (Iowa) 
  • Aaron Frey (Maine) 
  • Brian Frosh (Maryland) 
  • Dana Nessel (Michigan) 
  • Keith Ellison (Minnesota) 
  • Aaron Ford (Nevada) 
  • Hector Balderas (New Mexico) 
  • Letitia James (New York) 
  • Joshua Stein (North Carolina) 
  • Ellen Rosenblum (Oregon) 
  • Josh Shapiro (Pennsylvania) 
  • Peter Neronha (Rhode Island) 
  • Thomas Donovan (Vermont) 
  • Mark Herring (Virginia) 
  • Bob Ferguson (Washington) 

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