U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) proposes a new data agency to improve access to impartial and objective public health data that would bolster our infectious disease intelligence and preparedness. This data already exists in electronic forms across laboratories, clinics, and hospitals, but is incomplete and fragmented across the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and is not shared quickly enough to drive decision making. The Center for Public Health Data (CPHD) would aggregate this existing data to make it more accessible in real time. A two-pager of the proposal can be found here.
“Throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen how the United States’ public health data reporting has failed to deliver critical and comprehensive information to the American people in order to respond to the pandemic. We had to stand up a brand new entity in short-order to respond, which was not a sustainable model and will not leave us prepared for the future,” Senator Romney said. “We have again seen the shortcomings as monkeypox has started to spread around the country. These failures show the need for reliable, real time data during days of blue-skies so we can better prepare for and potentially prevent major outbreaks.”
“I applaud Senator Romney and his staff for the work they are doing to modernize America’s public health data reporting systems. The woeful state of public health data reporting has been a crisis for far too long and it has severely hampered America’s response to drug overdoses, food safety outbreaks, and infectious diseases, most notably COVID-19. It is my hope that Senator Romney’s colleagues on both sides of the aisle will follow his leadership. He will need the help of America’s private sector and public health agencies to build a system that allows everyone in America to have access to reliable, trustworthy, real time public health data so our nation’s experts and families can make the best decisions to protect our communities.” – Joseph Grogan, Visiting Fellow at the USC Schaeffer Center, former Assistant to President Trump for Domestic Policy and member of the COVID-19 Task Force