DC Council members call for probe after health dept. didn’t report COVID data

Six members of the D.C. Council are calling for an investigation after the city’s health department didn’t update COVID-19 data for nearly two weeks.

D.C. Councilmember Brianne Nadeau said that she and five of her colleagues want DC Health to “restore public trust.”

In a letter signed by Nadeau, Trayon White, Mary Cheh, Rober White, Lewis George and Charles Allen, they said they are concerned that once-available coronavirus data wasn’t transmitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Nadeau spoke to WTOP about concerns that the agency did not explain why it stopped reporting data to the CDC and sharing data with the public for almost two weeks.

“Councilmembers have been asking for the data, the public’s been asking for the data, and the council and D.C. health used to have a weekly call where we would get updates,” she said. This call “has been on hiatus.”

The health department has not explained why the data was not reported.

Nadeau added that without the data, it’s difficult to make critical decisions for the health of those who are immunocompromised and to track outbreaks within the city.

The Ward 1 councilmember said that “until recently, you could make those decisions by going to the website” and seeing where case counts and outbreaks are.

“It’s really, I think, kind of paralyzing for people,” she said.

The health department said that the data that was not reported to the CDC between April 27 and May 8 is back in sync. During that period, there were 1,062 new COVID-19 cases but no deaths.

“I think that we’re getting back to a sense of normalcy, and that’s good,” Nadeau said, “and I don’t want that to be undermined by case rates creeping up because we didn’t see it coming.”

WTOP’s Scott Gelman contributed to this report.

Ivy Lyons

Ivy Lyons is a digital journalist for WTOP.com. Since 2018, they have worked on Capitol Hill, at NBC News in Washington, and with WJLA in Washington.

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