People wearing face masks walk on a street in Washington, D.C., the United States, Aug. 14, 2020. (Photo by Ting Shen/Xinhua)
Former CDC Acting Director Richard Besser has said that the change was a "step backwards" for the U.S. coronavirus response, and "another example of CDC being sidelined."
WASHINGTON, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- A group of public health advisers to the U.S. government have expressed their grave concerns over the Trump administration's decision to change the way for hospitals to report COVID-19 data, CNN reported Friday.
The nearly three dozen current and former members of the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee shared their concerns in a letter intended for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), CNN said on its website.
Pedestrians with face masks walk past a store on Fifth Avenue in New York, the United States, July 4, 2020. (Xinhua/Wang Ying)
"We are extremely concerned about this abrupt change in Covid-19 reporting," said the letter from the committee, which is an independent group of experts that provides guidance to HHS and the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on infection control practices and strategies, according to CNN.
"Moving forward, it will be even more challenging to perform meaningful inter-state comparisons, and to understand which COVID-19 mitigation strategies were successful (or failed)," said the letter dated July 31.
The HHS posted a memo on its website last month, saying the Trump administration ordered hospitals to report all COVID-19 patient information to HHS, instead of to HHS and CDC as before, according to CNN.
The new reporting system swiftly drew criticism from public health officials, CNN said.
Former CDC Acting Director Richard Besser has said that the change was a "step backwards" for the U.S. coronavirus response, and "another example of CDC being sidelined." ■