Turns out George Orwell lacked imagination.
Donald Trump has already decried our robust (er, 23rd-ranked by number of tests per capita, but who’s counting?) testing regime because it makes him look bad.
He’s said that if we didn’t test we’d have very few cases. Which sort of makes sense if you’re a blithering nitwit with a tin of butter cookies suspended in your skull in lieu of a brain.
Now it looks like the Trump administration may be getting ready to disappear COVID statistics altogether — or at least manipulate and mangle them beyond recognition.
The Trump administration has ordered hospitals to bypass the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and, beginning on Wednesday, send all coronavirus patient information to a central database in Washington — a move that has alarmed public health experts who fear the data will be distorted for political gain.
Political manipulation? In the Trump administration?
The new instructions are contained in a little-noticed document posted this week on the Department of Health and Human Services’ website, Sheryl Gay Stolberg reports. From now on, H.H.S., and not the C.D.C., will collect daily reports about the patients that each hospital is treating, how many beds and ventilators are available, and other information vital to tracking the pandemic.
Since coronavirus is now as ubiquitous as Bret Michaels hair at the Outagamie County Fair, there’s little else for the Trump administration to do about it than cover it up. Because there’s no way in hell they’re gonna, you know, address it.
So this latest “tweak” is concerning, to say the least.
Public health experts have long expressed concerns that the administration is politicizing science and undermining the disease control centers; four former C.D.C. directors, spanning both Republican and Democratic administrations, said as much in an opinion piece published Tuesday in The Washington Post. The data collection shift reinforced those fears.
“Centralizing control of all data under the umbrella of an inherently political apparatus is dangerous and breeds distrust,” said Nicole Lurie, who served as assistant secretary for preparedness and response under former President Barack Obama. “It appears to cut off the ability of agencies like C.D.C. to do its basic job.”
Breeds distrust? I think distrust has already bred like snakes on Snake Island. We’re way past trusting the Trump administration. Now we’ll simply trust them — and the numbers we rely on to safely reopen the economy — a bit less.
“This guy is a natural. Sometimes I laugh so hard I cry.” — Bette Midler on Aldous J. Pennyfarthing, via Twitter. Find out what made dear Bette break up. Dear Fcking Lunatic: 101 Obscenely Rude Letters to Donald Trump and its boffo sequels Dear Prsident A**clown: 101 More Rude Letters to Donald Trump and Dear F*cking Moron: 101 More Letters to Donald Trump by Aldous J. Pennyfarthing are now available for a song! Click those links, yo!