The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say it’s developing a system to track the number of people in the United States tested for the novel coronavirus and it hopes to post that information online — but that doesn’t satisfy a US congressman who wrote a letter of complaint to the agency this week.
The CDC’s plan is “wholly inadequate,” according to Rep. Mark Pocan, a Wisconsin Democrat.
How the CDC got here: For weeks, the CDC has been posting the total number of people it has tested for the virus on its website. On Monday, that information disappeared. The CDC website still posts the number confirmed and presumptive positive coronavirus cases.
Until last week, CDC was one of only a few labs in the United States testing for the novel coronavirus. Now, many public health labs across the United States are able to perform the test.
Pocan sent a letter to CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield expressing concern about the vanished data.
On Tuesday, a CDC spokeswoman sent an email to CNN about its new plan.
“We’re working on a system to get [novel coronavirus] test results from state and local public health labs each week and hope to post that,” CDC’s Kristen Nordlund wrote to CNN.
Pocan told CNN that this that plan was “more of an excuse than an answer.”
He added that the CDC keeps track of national health data for a wide range of diseases and should be able to keep track of testing data for the novel coronavirus on a daily basis.
“There’s only 50 states. We can get this information relatively easily,” he said.
At a briefing on Tuesday, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said that since “many states are now testing and reporting their own results” any numbers CDC reports “would not be representative of the testing being done nationally.”