CDC Director: ‘This Nation Needs a Modern, Highly-Capable Data Analytics System’

By Melanie Arter | May 12, 2020 | 4:40pm EDT
Dr. Robert Redfield, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention speaks remotely during the Senate Committee for Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions hearing to examine COVID-19 and Safely Getting Back to Work and Back to School on May 12, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by WIN MCNAMEE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Dr. Robert Redfield, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention speaks remotely during the Senate Committee for Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions hearing to examine COVID-19 and Safely Getting Back to Work and Back to School on May 12, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by WIN MCNAMEE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) questioned Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield on Tuesday about why the CDC doesn’t have a real-time system with accurate data on the coronavirus.

During a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee hearing on going back to work and school during the coronavirus pandemic, the senator, appearing remotely from home, told the CDC director that Romney and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) wrote to Redfield expressing their dismay at the lack of real-time data at the CDC.


“I'm talking about granular, demographic, hospitalization, treatment data. How is it possible in this day and age that the CDC has never established such a real-time system, with accurate data? And what can Congress do to rectify that, so we never have to look at something like this again?” Romney asked Redfield, who also testified remotely.

“The first one I focus on is day-to-day modernization and analytics and predictive data analysis. Clearly, Congress has moved forward in providing funding for data modernization, and we are in the process of implementing -- the reality is there is an archaic system, a nonintegrated public health system,” Redfield said.

“Each public health department has their own systems. This nation needs a modern, highly-capable data analytics system that can do predictive analysis. I think it's one of the many shortcomings that has been identified, as we went through this outbreak. I couldn't agree with you more. It's time to get that corrected,” he said.

“Thank you. Please help guide us as to what we need to do to make sure that happens. I presume it's not to build it ourselves, but work with companies that have that capacity and use that capacity in our favor,” Romney said.

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