Donald Trump’s White House believes that National Guard troops could hold the solution to the COVID-19 data crisis, according to a new report.
“The Trump administration is poised to ask governors to consider sending in the National Guard to hospitals to help improve data collection about coronavirus patients, supplies and capacity, according to draft letters, internal emails and hospital industry officials familiar with the plans,” The Washington Post reported Monday.
“A letter, to be sent to governors imminently, backs away from earlier drafts as recently as Friday that had directed state leaders to deploy the National Guard to help hospitals with daily data submissions. It now includes the National Guard among states’ options for improving the data flow, according to two senior administration officials and one industry official who was informed Monday about the final version,” the newspaper explained.
However, any such deployment may not help solve the problem.
“Still, even the possibility of National Guard involvement has infuriated hospital industry leaders, who say any data collection problems lie primarily with the Department of Health and Human Services and repeatedly changing federal instructions. The idea of bringing in the Guard was first broached at a late June meeting by Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force response coordinator, according to two hospital industry officials who attended and spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private discussions,” The Post explained.
Rick Pollack, president of the American Hospital Association, ridiculed the idea.
“It makes no sense. Certainly the expertise of the National Guard can be used in a more productive way,” Pollack explained.