Donald Trump and his team took over control of the Covid-19 data set on July 15, 2020.
“As of July 15, 2020, hospitals should no longer report the Covid-19 information in this document to the National Healthcare Safety Network site,”
Of course we have deceptive comments coming out of the White House. They are saying they need to handle the data because it will streamline the process.
I assumed prior to the July 15 changeover date that this was not going to be pretty. I was right.
The data set has been entirely screwed up by the Trump administration. So much so that it looks like it was done programatically. Otherwise they would have had to hire a lot of people to go in and manually mess up the data. But that would yield messy output.
The clear goal was to have the data stay on trend on the day after July 15th. That also strongly indicates it was done programatically.
I suspect at this point that Trump admin will try to make red states look better so he will get more votes, while making blue states look worse so he can pick on them while campaigning for re-election.
The data chunks changed were all sizes. over a hundred thousand cases changes day to day as well as changes in thousands hundreds and smaller numbers. This pretty much confirms the data was programmatically manipulated as it would be tedious and difficult to balance the output to match the trendline from the previous day by manual manipulation.
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Update Note: The only things that were clear on the day Trump rerouted the data to his team is that it was reshuffled vertically. This caused a data misalignment. Based on experience with Trumps historical methods CNP considered what he would then do with the data.
- Would Trump team try to alter the data going into the election to make things ‘look’ better?
- Would Trump team skew results for red verses blue states to make red states look better?
- Or, would Trump team realize they won’t be able to get away with such a dangerous scam?
The outcome is unpredictable, but the willingness and interest in skewing the data is demonstrated in the fact that Trump Team rerouted the data to the White House team and away from the CDC. Doing so was unnecessary, and that’s what rang the alarm bells as to what Trump ‘might’ do.
Why would Trump take the data away from the professionals and control it from people hired by Trump to help him secure his control of the presidency.
Method of Evaluation:
Note: The variance showed up in the CSSE data on the date in question because CNP loads the data one day at a time to track changes in data structure. This change occurred on the very same day that Trump team took over the data. It was a vertical restructuring that altered the graphing track. Data restructuring is not abnormal, what was suspicious was the date of this change (the same day Trumps team took over the data).
There are no assumptions beyond that. The data appears to be on track immediately after the change but the misalignment and the reason for the change on that particular day is in question.
Note that reports that Florida Covid-19 data has been underreported by a ‘former’ data expert in Florida underscores the nature of concern. Maintaining accuracy is critical. Many experts say lack of testing remains a major problem in the US.
- FOX NEWS: Trump administration tells hospitals to bypass CDC with COVID-19 data reporting
- CNBC: Coronavirus data has already disappeared after Trump administration shifted control from CDC
- ABC NEWS: US coronavirus data will now bypass the CDC and go straight to the White House. Here’s what this means for the world
- CBS NEWS: Trump administration orders hospitals to bypass CDC in reporting COVID data
- NYTIMES: Trump Administration Strips C.D.C. of Control of Coronavirus Data
- USA Today: Trump administration cuts CDC out of data collection on hospitalized COVID-19 patients. The move has immediate effect.
- Source Data: CSSE Data Server