The Biden administration is moving the U.S. government’s largest public-health tracking system back to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, undoing a much-criticized move by the Trump administration to shift custody of critical data from the nation’s top epidemiological agency.
According to a document obtained by Bloomberg News, the Department of Health and Human Services on Oct. 1 signed off on a recommendation to move the system, designed to track pandemic data, out of the management of its own Office of the Chief Information Officer and into CDC’s oversight. The shift comes in the wake of scrutiny over the federal government’s handling of public health data infrastructure, and is intended to ensure long-term stability and ownership of the data system.
Source: Bloomberg News
Number of COVID-19 Omicron variant cases in Europe as of November 29, 2021, by country
In late-November 2021, the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus which causes COVID-19) was designated as a variant of concern by the World Health Organization due to fears about a higher transmissibility from the variant and a possible decrease in the effectiveness of vaccines against it.