Yesterday, NPR ran a segment about the scandalous decision of the Trump administration to change the Covid-related reporting that hospitals are now doing.
What NPR reported:
(1) Hospitals will now have to send data to the Trump administration, bypassing the CDC.
(2) Interviewed a doctor who said that this is horrible! They are already stressed out and overwhelmed! Bad Trump!
(3) Repeatedly said that the data collection will by done by a private company. Many times, in case you didn’t catch it.
(3) Brief in passing mentioned that the head of the CDC said that this was a good move, increased efficiency and accuracy, and also that the CDC will have full access to all information. And also, data will not go to Trump, but to the Medicare division of the DHHS. No interview, no details, all very brief.
(4) Interview with a midlevel manager from the CDC who used to run data collection and is now stripped of juicy bureaucratic office, so he goes on and on to complain how this is terrible. But never once, not once says why it is terrible. Just terrible, and all.
What NPR did not report:
(1) That hospitals already send their data to the DHHS, and also send it to the CDC, and the current reporting is a bureaucratic nightmare, which they hate.
(2) Hospitals are happy to report to a single institution, with one streamlined procedure, so most are very happy about the new system.
(3) There is no evidence that the “private subcontractor” in charge of data collection was not selected properly, or is not expected to do a good job, or that the government employees would have done a better job. News flash: government computers are also made by private companies, as is almost all software they use.
Zero discussions of expected changes in the quality of reported data. (Can argue either way, but need someone who actually knows!).
Zero discussions of cost savings for everyone involved, including hospitals.
Zero discussions for whether this will cause any damage whatsoever to the CDC’s (or anyone’s) ability to use newly collected data.
No expert on data collection or analysis interviewed or mentioned.
Repeatedly: data will go “to Trump”, “bypassing the CDC”, and “private subcontractor”.
And this concludes the reporting segment.
Remember, they say they need taxpayer money and listener donations to support “quality journalism.”
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