An opinion piece about Dr. Birx published on CNN says:

Unfortunately, in my view, she truly has made a real hash out of the entire effort, with a series of poor decisions -- changing hospital data reporting protocols for coronavirus patients to cut out the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and report directly to Health and Human Services, painting a rosy picture of the problem and of the President's engagement and still developing no national plan for testing, tracking, opening schools and businesses.

What's the level of evidence Dr. Birx bears the responsibility for the decision to change the COVID-19 reporting channel (which did happen and in fact the hubbub seems to be that the new HHS reporting channel is "owned" by private contractor)?


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According to a fairly long investigative journalism piece published on Science's website in October, the story seems to be largely true, in the sense that it appears that at least formally Birx was involved in the chain of decision making on this matter, although since Birx declined to be interviewed, we might not have the full picture:

Irum Zaidi, a top aide to White House Coronavirus Task Force Coordinator Deborah Birx, chaired the meeting. Zaidi lifted her mask slightly to be heard and delivered a fait accompli: Birx, who was not present, had pulled the plug on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) system for collecting hospital data and turned much of the responsibility over to a private contractor, Pittsburgh-based TeleTracking Technologies Inc., a hospital data management company. The reason: CDC had not met Birx’s demand that hospitals report 100% of their COVID-19 data every day.


Through the office of Vice President Mike Pence, who heads the task force, Birx declined to be interviewed or to respond to written questions, including whether the White House pressured her to use TeleTracking’s system. (TeleTracking’s majority owner, real estate developer Michael Zamagias, has donated to Republican candidates and has ties to Trump businesses through colleagues, according to an NPR report.)

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    Sign of the times; I was waiting for that last sentence and was not a bit shocked.
    – RedSonja
    Nov 30, 2020 at 12:07

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