Refusing to watch animal torture in a movie theater is a defensible form of ignorance. But how is it defensible to stop tracking the spread of a global viral disease when it continues to kill thousands of people each month (1,052 deaths for the week ended April 26, 2023)? On May 3, 2023, The Wall Street Journal reported that our nation’s COVID-19 data is incomplete “because several states including Florida haven’t recently reported data to the CDC.” Despite the still-high number of COVID cases and related deaths, the CDC said it will stop tracking the spread of COVID-19 at the community level on May 11, 2023, the official end of the public health emergency. Since February 2022, the CDC published its Covid-19 by County color-coded system to indicate the level of viral spread based on hospitalizations and case numbers in that area, but no more. Instead, the CDC announced the release of its strategic plan (fact sheet here) to address gaps in public health data. We cannot do a better job explaining how this represents a “dangerous turn for public health” than the experts that built Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center already did here. One day, our country will care about protecting public health enough to collect data about it — but this is going to be about as easy as catching a wave upon the sand.
May 5, 2023 | 3 min read
May 5, 2023
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