White House instructing governors to send National Guard to hospitals to oversee data on COVID-19

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There are a number of jobs that the National Guard has been trained to perform. Though many Americans most recently saw the Guard pressed into service to confront protesters, for decades they’ve engaged in far more welcome roles, from rescuing those trapped by rising floods to delivering supplies into areas ravaged by hurricane. But if there’s one task that is not associated with the traditional role of the National Guard it might be this — emergency accountancy.

But that seems to be exactly that the White House is proposing. The right wing media continues to spread conspiracy theories that COVID-19 deaths are being overstated. Donald Trump continues to insist that the growing surge of cases, including overrun hospitals and rising deaths, is somehow the fault of more testing. And Trump is pressing states to allow the National Guard to come into hospitals to “improve data collection.” If that sounds to you like a plan to downplay the crisis … it sounds that way to everyone.

From the beginning of the crisis in the United States, there have been numerous reports of the danger faced by healthcare workers dealing directly with COVID-19 patients, with the frustration they face in dealing with a disease where nothing seems to work, and the absolute exhaustion they far from day after day of overrun emergency rooms and ICUs. What there have not been is an outcry from hospitals over problems in recording data.

However, as The Washington Post reports, that’s what the White House is proposing. In a letter slated to go out this week, Trump will ask governors to “consider” sending the guard to hospitals to “help improve data collection.” As the president of the American Hospital Association states, this “makes no sense.” If the National Guard is going to take a more active role in handing the coronavirus pandemic, double-checking hospital data does not really seem like the best use of their skills and abilities.

If the whole idea isn’t suspicious enough to begin with, this plan coincides with a new directive that would eliminate sending data to the CDC. Instead, data will be sent through state agencies and federal contractors to new central federal reporting from HHS.

The idea of using the National Guard for data review has apparently come up a number of times in the last few weeks. That includes at meetings between hospital leaders and the White House in both June and July. Hospital officials ignored the idea because “it’s silly.” But not everyone let the idea slip so easily, one industry official called the discussion “an offhand threat,” directed at hospitals White House coronavirus task force response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx. Birx complained that hospitals were not properly reporting data, while hospital officials said that was HHS that had issues.

While the current draft of the letter to governors asks them to consider using the National Guard, an earlier draft directed them to deploy the guard to oversee hospital data. However, these is little doubt that, no matter which verb is deployed in the final draft, governors eager to please Trump will treat this as a command. That means that clerks in hospitals in the states which are right now at the center of the spike in new cases, are likely to find someone in uniform looking over their shoulders as they report information on cases and deaths … to make sure that they’re doing it right.

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7 Comments on "White House instructing governors to send National Guard to hospitals to oversee data on COVID-19"

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Mark M
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Mark M

Banana Republic.

Rascal Houdi
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Rascal Houdi

The virus will go away if we make the numbers go away. Alternative facts rearing it’s head again. But as we know, “cooking the books” is an old Trump trick anyway. Or another example of trying to control everything you hear, read and say, for the benefit of the Chosen Ones. Orwellian fascist pigs.

Sasquach Greenlee
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Sasquach Greenlee

It just keeps getting worse with this guy, classic fascist

Facts Hurt
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Facts Hurt

This is fucking insane. All of it.

Inzane
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Inzane

If a turd had a brain..oh the orange one does.

SimonDK
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SimonDK

Purely decorative, I’m sure.

Debra
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Debra

tRump is doing all this because they believe that all deaths are being recorded as Covid deaths. A friend of my sisters was just saying this same thing a couple weeks ago. That hospitals are told to say all deaths are Covid related because they get paid more for Covid deaths. The shit that these tRump supporters believe is asinine.