ASN Expresses Serious Concerns over White House Decision to Remove CDC from Data Collection Role for COVID-19 Hospitalizations

July 15, 2020

The American Society of Nephrology (ASN) is troubled by the Trump Administration’s decision to require submission of hospital data on COVID-19 patients directly to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) instead of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This decision raises serious questions about the transparency and credibility of the data as well as concerns that the move will prevent researchers, public health officials, and other stakeholders from accessing the data to make projections and crucial decisions.

The United States is at a critical moment in the pandemic. Many states are experiencing surges, and reliable, comprehensive data are essential to determine the strategies to fight COVID-19 and ensure the distribution of supplies and treatments.

Collecting and reporting health data is a primary function of CDC, and the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) rapidly provided critically needed information from hospitals and nursing homes to guide our state and federal response to the pandemic. From ASN’s perspective, we have valued their public health expertise and data infrastructure to support infection control and reporting in dialysis facilities. We must redouble our efforts to provide public health experts with unlimited, immediate access to the most transparent and comprehensive information possible to guide the country’s response to the pandemic.

ASN members care for Americans with kidney diseases who are considered one of the most vulnerable population groups to COVID-19 and the critically ill COVID-19 patients who are experiencing unprecedented levels of acute kidney injury. ASN calls upon the administration to ensure that CDC and its public health authorities retain oversight and expertise to the process of collecting COVID-19 data and ensuring its transparency for the critical decision making we face now and in the months ahead.

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The American Society of Nephrology (ASN) is troubled by the Trump Administration’s decision to require submission of hospital data on COVID-19 patients directly to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) instead of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This decision raises serious questions about the transparency and credibility of the data as well as concerns that the move will prevent researchers, public health officials, and other stakeholders from accessing the data to make projections and crucial decisions.

The United States is at a critical moment in the pandemic. Many states are experiencing surges, and reliable, comprehensive data are essential to determine the strategies to fight COVID-19 and ensure the distribution of supplies and treatments.

Collecting and reporting health data is a primary function of CDC, and the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) rapidly provided critically needed information from hospitals and nursing homes to guide our state and federal response to the pandemic. From ASN’s perspective, we have valued their public health expertise and data infrastructure to support infection control and reporting in dialysis facilities. We must redouble our efforts to provide public health experts with unlimited, immediate access to the most transparent and comprehensive information possible to guide the country’s response to the pandemic.

ASN members care for Americans with kidney diseases who are considered one of the most vulnerable population groups to COVID-19 and the critically ill COVID-19 patients who are experiencing unprecedented levels of acute kidney injury. ASN calls upon the administration to ensure that CDC and its public health authorities retain oversight and expertise to the process of collecting COVID-19 data and ensuring its transparency for the critical decision making we face now and in the months ahead.

Date:
Wednesday, July 15, 2020