Can Plucky Little Data Company  Replace CDC In Middle Of Pandemic? Guess We'll Find Out!

No wedding planners here, so that's a start.

It's been an entire week since hospitals had to stop reporting their COVID-19 data to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and instead send all that information to a new Department of Health and Human Services database called "HHS Protect." The change was mandated just a few days before the changeover, and nobody knows yet how well that transition is going to work. After hospital use data vanished last week, HHS rolled out a new site to make such data public, but Yr Dok Zoom is not a medical data guy, so I couldn't tell you how well the new dashboard, called the Coronavirus Data Hub, compares to its CDC predecessor.

But infectious disease specialists are worried about the wisdom of switching to a new data-collection system in the middle of a goddamned pandemic, as Talking Points Memo reports. They aren't at all sure that TeleTracking, the relatively small data company in Pittsburgh that built the new HHS system, is necessarily up to the challenge of replacing the CDC system that had until last week been handling all the data. Maybe TeleTracking, which has never taken on a contract of this scope, will rise to the challenge and everything will be fine! Or maybe the data will be flawed in ways that won't be discovered for months, but what are the odds of that happening with a new system rolled out in a rush?

If it all goes pear-shaped, we might not even know for months, anyway, unless that new HHS dashboard goes blank or starts asking "SHALL WE PLAY A GAME?"

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2020 presidential election

Joe Biden Gonna Make America A Nanny State, Literally

May or may not send Elizabeth Warren's Aunt Bee to your house.

Joe Biden is in full big policy proposal mode these days, releasing plans for rebuilding the economy and addressing climate change, and now putting out his plan for creating a "21st Century Caregiving and Education Workforce" to provide child care and more care options for older Americans. He's not just borrowing a lot of ideas from Elizabeth Warren's campaign; he's also adopted her strategy of spelling out how each major policy proposal fits with the others to create a coherent plan for a fairer, more equal America for everyone. As we've noted before, this is no longer last year's timid centrist Joe Biden; this is Joe Biden cosplaying FDR to meet the current crisis, and that binder under his arm labeled "New Deal" isn't just a bunch of blank pages.

As with his other plans, Biden starts with the pandemic, but emphasizes that the COVID-19 crisis has been made worse by our country's preexisting conditions.

The pandemic has laid bare just how hard it is for people in this country to find access to quality caregiving they need for themselves, or to juggle the responsibilities of working and also caring for family members. People in nursing homes have been hit especially hard by the coronavirus, shining a bright light on the fact that many would prefer to be in a home or community based setting. And, many parents are struggling to find child care while they go to their essential jobs, or find themselves as 24/7 caregivers trying to keep their children safe and learning while working remotely.

Also like those other plans, Biden's $775 billion proposal emphasizes not just how the investments he wants to make will help people on the receiving end of new services, but also how these programs will create jobs, both directly for the people providing the services and by allowing people the freedom to pursue work outside the home if they want. It's all logical and stuff, but falls down terribly in explaining how it will lead to more boat parades.

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Masks On, Masks Off: Part II

It's your Sunday show rundown!

It's almost the end of July and life is feeling like one of those infinite time loop situations. But unlike Groundhog Day, It's one we can't escape by being karmically good to people.

No, our time loop is one where coronavirus cases are rising while people are being told to wear a mask for the good of everyone, just like when we covered this in April. The difference: we were still trying to figure out how to stop the spread then, and a lot more naïve to what awaited us if we didn't,

But here we are.

While corporations, small businesses, bipartisan governors and smart people that listen to science have added masks to their "no shirt, no shoes, no service" policies, Trump and idiot politicians are still fighting it. Even GOP governors who have done well seem seem to still not quite get it. Take Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. Appearing on NBC's "Meet The Press," DeWine was asked by sentient goatee Chuck Todd about his confidence on the coronavirus task force and Trump administration:

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Idiots Unmasked: Your Coronavirus Roundup

Hmmm, is any of this bad?

The coronavirus pandemic is still with us, with over 75,000 new cases reported Thursday in the USA. That would be the eleventh record for single-day infections in just the last month. And while people keep getting sick and dying (the death rate is increasing, too), too many elected Republicans keep doing all they can to help out the virus. Let's review the latest!

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