The coronavirus crisis has shown that the United States needs to get a lot better on its data collection, a leading public health expert said Sunday.
In an interview on NBC News’ “Meet the Press,“ Dr. Tom Inglesby, director of the Center for Health Security of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, lamented some states aren’t reporting important COVID-19 data.
“We need to get better as a country” in data collection,” he said.
“Some states are not reporting their hospitalization data. We live in a federal system. If they're not reporting it at the state level, it's hard for [the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] to get that data in real time. So I think we all need to collectively get better.”
He added that the nation also needs “to get a much better handle on the number of mild and moderate cases … we're not capturing those people in terms of numbers for the country.”
According to Inglesby, he’s concerned there’ll be “small waves in various places around the country for the coming months,” and batted back the suggestion a “lull” in the virus spread will happen because summer is approaching.
“Before we even get to the fall, I am worried that we will have small waves in various places around the country for the coming months,” he said. “Hopefully we won’t, but as we begin to ease social distancing in various places in the country, this virus is highly transmissible. Nothing has changed in the underlying dynamics of this virus. If we stop social distancing altogether tomorrow, we would recreate the conditions that existed in the country in February and March.”
“In the fall we have an additional challenge, we have influenza that will reappear,” he added.
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