As a collective of nurse scholars and activists, Nursing Mutual Aid condemns the manipulation of COVID19-related data. We see evidence of data suppression at the federal level and data manipulation at the state level. While the production of knowledge, collection of data, and representation of information is always and definitively political, the suppression of epidemiological data on SARS-CoV-2 is an act of racialized violence, mobilized to reify the political aims of a corrupt government. We recognize the failings of the federal government in the context of federal pandemic response. This is just the most recent injustice.
We call on the Federal government to restore the previous CDC reporting system. We endorse with the statement put out by the American Public Health Association on July 15, 2020 that issues the following call:
Americans must have confidence in the integrity of health data and its insulation from even the suggestion of political interference. Sending these sensitive data to a newly created entity overseen directly by the White House will not eliminate such concerns, it will increase them.
We echo this call. We call on federal, state, and local governments to cease any and all manipulation of SARS-CoV-2-related data aimed at misleading the public and obfuscating the gravity and extent of the pandemic. We call on them to make all data generation and analysis procedures transparent and accountable to the public, especially to Black and brown communities. Mounting evidence points to a systemic campaign of data manipulation and suppression of empirical realities related to this public health crisis, including but not limited to recent examples in the states of Florida, Virginia, Vermont, Texas, and Georgia. COVID-19 cases are on the rise across the United States, and this is evident in states without known data manipulation and suppression, such as California and Illinois.
We are witnessing the death of expertise: dismissing the World Health Organization, discounting the guidelines from the CDC, ignoring what is happening right before our eyes, the exponential spiking of coronavirus cases across the country. These things are real. This is a form of fascist gaslighting that sows discord in order to distract from the real problems at hand. Consequential decisions are being made that will impact the health and safety of our communities. Now, data directly linked to testing is being hidden in plain sight. The transparency that we have expected from trusted institutions like the CDC is obscured by the deceitful agenda of a rogue administration whose primary purpose is to inflict pain and suffering. Cruelty is at the top of their agenda and has been since the day of the infamous American Carnage Inaugural speech that will go down in history, an ominous foretelling of what would befall our nation.
In addition to our call for the federal government to restore the previous CDC reporting system, we call on nursing organizations to speak up and amplify this call: American Nurses Association; the American Academy of Nursing; the Southern Nursing Research Society; the Eastern Nursing Research Society; the Midwestern Nursing Research Society; the American College of Nurse-Midwives; the National Association of Black Nurses; the Emergency Nurses Association; The American Association of Critical Care Nurses; the National Hispanic Nurses Association; GLMA; Philippine Nurses Association of America; the American Association of History of Nursing; the American Association of Colleges of Nursing; the National League of Nurses, American Association for Men in Nursing, Society of Pediatric Nurses, Association of Women’s Health, Obstetrical, and Neonatal Nurses, National Nurses United, and others.