A U.S. Congressman is demanding answers after official authorities appear to have hidden coronavirus figures.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) no longer displays the number of patients tested for COVID-19 on its official website. The data appears to have been removed overnight between March 1st and March 2nd.
Rep. Mark Pocan demanded:
Americans are dying. We deserve to know how many Americans have perished from COVID-19, and we deserve to know how many people have been tested for it.
The oversight was first noticed by journalist Judd Legum of Popular Information. In a tweet yesterday, he revealed the omission with two screenshots from the CDC website.
In no uncertain terms he called it a “coverup.”
This lack of transparency is also why it’s so difficult to come up with a clear fatality rate.
At the time of writing, the number of patients tested for COVID-19 in the U.S. is still not published on the CDC website. And the number of published deaths (two) lags figures widely reported elsewhere (six).
Mark Pocan, U.S. Representative for Wisconsin’s 2nd congressional district, wrote to the CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield asking why the authorities removed the figures.
I just sent a letter to [CDC Director] demanding answers to why their website removed public data on the number of patients tested in the United States.
Quoting the former commissioner of Food and Drug Agency (FDA) Scott Gottlieb, he said there may be thousands of unreported cases in the U.S. already.
The U.S. has already come under fire for failing to ramp up COVID-19 testing, even as the virus spreads to American soil.
In one case, a Seattle woman explained how she was denied testing, despite showing signs of the virus. She also claims to have a history of bronchitis and a high-risk care profession.
I was told I do not qualify for testing. And I was not given a timeline or info on current resources.
In a thread on Twitter, she gave a rare glimpse into the criteria for U.S. testing. According to her information, only those who have travelled abroad or come into contact with known cases are eligible for testing.
The only way I can get treated is if my symptoms get so bad I develop pneumonia or bronchitis, which is very likely in my case. Then I’ll be in the ER and quarantined for several days while waiting for a test and for the results to come back.
The FDA said it will test up to a million people for COVID-19 in the next week.
But laboratories across the country aren’t so sure. Sources cited by Politco said the maximum that public health labs could process was 10,000 per week.
The U.S. currently has more than 100 confirmed cases of the virus, including new cases in Florida. The death toll stands at six, all in Washington state. Four of the deaths are linked to a cluster outbreak in a nursing home.