This gang can’t count straight.

In a front-page story Jan. 27, Press Herald Staff Writer Eric Russell reported that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Lyme disease case counts are likely 10 times greater than advised previously! This is the same CDC that issues annual nationwide flu death counts that keep changing as late reports dribble in. We are now told that traditional leading causes of death in the U.S. are down considerably while COVID-19 rages. COVID is very real – but I am not convinced CDC data is COVID only pure.

The federal Department of Health and Human Services has 11 operating divisions (including the CDC) and about 80,000 employees. Yet in this technology age, insurance claims from doctors’ offices and hospitals, plus local coroners’ reports, account for much of CDC’s data. These inputs are subject to error, misidentification and delay. There must be a better way to provide real-time accurate data to those formulating our national and state health care strategies.

Taxpayers deserve more transparency of government health issue management. We also deserve more “bark alert” from the “watchdog” responsibilities of these agencies. COVID exposed the reality that for years the U.S was ill-prepared to fight a health, or warfare, menace in our homeland.

We need to rethink and reshape HHS and CDC capabilities.

Charlie Galloway

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