Hey CDC, when dashboard?

A new report from the Government Accountability Office suggests that the CDC’s tracker has a long way to go before it becomes the centralized system that Americans need. The report, released last Wednesday, is over 500 pages of problems and recommendations, ranging from the Emergency Use Authorization process to health care for veterans; but it includes some data bangers.

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New, more local data from the CDC

The CDC made two major updates to its COVID-19 data this week. First: On Tuesday, the agency published a new dataset with more granular information on COVID-19 cases. Second: Vaccination data at the county level are now available on the CDC’s COVID Data Tracker.

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Goodnight, COVID Tracking Project

A couple of hours after I send today’s newsletter, I will do my final shift of data entry work on the COVID Tracking Project’s Testing and Outcomes dataset. Then, later in the evening, I will do my final shift on the COVID Racial Data Tracker. And then I will probably spend another hour or two bothering my fellow volunteers on Slack because I don’t want it to be over quite yet.

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The federal government starts acting like a federal government

The new White House is holding COVID-19 briefings, making more data available, and showing more transparency into its decisions. This is, essentially, what a responsible federal government should have been doing since January 2020. But after a year of the Trump administration’s confusion, lack of coordination, and outright lies, it’s refreshing to watch a White House COVID-19 briefing in which every statement doesn’t need to be rigorously fact-checked in real-time.

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Can Biden clean up America’s COVID-19 data?

Shortly after President Joe Biden’s inauguration, the official White House website got a makeover. It now hosts the president’s priorities and COVID-19 plan—including a promise to create a “Nationwide Pandemic Dashboard.” In the coming weeks, I’ll be closely watching to see how the Biden administration follows through on these plans. Will the new administration build on the strengths of existing federal and state data systems, or will it tear down old systems and sow unnecessary confusion?

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HHS releases long-awaited national profile reports

For months, public health advocates have called on the federal government to release in-depth data reports that are compiled internally by the White House Coronavirus Task Force. These reports include detailed information on cases, tests, and deaths at the state, county, and city levels. This past Friday, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) began releasing all such national COVID-19 reports and the data behind them.

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Federal data updates, Dec. 13

Rounding out the week with a couple of updates on federal data, unrelated to hospitalizations and vaccines. Updates include: a new app for testing data, a CMS proposal that Medicare and Medicaid providers build standard databases, and the progress of a bill which would make federal court filings free for researchers to access.

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“Is Dr. Anthony Fauci on Cameo?”

Dr. Fauci is, of course, not on Cameo. But he did make a public appearance this past Friday: he testified before the House Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis. This was Dr. Fauci’s first Congressional appearance in several weeks; Democrats have claimed that the White House blocked him from testifying earlier in the summer.

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