Want to know how many tuberculosis cases there were in the U.S. last year? Ask the CDC. Want to know about health-care-associated infections? Ask the CDC. It knows.
But ask how many Covid-19 tests have been done, and the CDC’s doesn’t have an answer. Want a daily update on how many people are getting hospitalized for Covid-19? The CDC isn’t tracking it. Want to know if social distancing is making a difference? The CDC doesn’t know.
During this pandemic, when accurate, timely, nationwide information is the lifeblood of our response, the CDC has largely disappeared.
The performance of the world’s leading public health agency has been surprising, and by that I mean surprisingly disappointing. When the outbreak began, the CDC decided to forgo using the World Health Organization’s testing kit for Covid-19 and build its own. The test it shipped out to states was faulty, creating problems that stretched for weeks and slowed response as states waited for replacement tests.
Here is more from Ashish K. Jha. As I’ve said before, our regulatory state has been failing us.