US government bypasses CDC data tracking in favour of TeleTracking Technologies
Questions have been raised about an irregular process by which the Trump administration awarded a $10.2 million dollar six-month contract to Pittsburgh-based TeleTracking Technologies. TeleTracking has traditionally sold software to help hospitals track patient status; under the new contract it is collecting key data about COVID-19 from US hospitals, bypassing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to which such data is normally reported. The contract was awarded by the Department of Health and Human Services using the Broad Agency Announcement process normally reserved for innovative scientific research, HHS directly phoned the company about the project, and company CEO Michael Zamagias has links to a company that financed billions of dollars in projects with the Trump Organization. Hospitals were given only days to make the switch even though CDC has been tracking data such as available hospital beds, PPE, and patient demographics, for 15 years. The HHS contract interact nearly 20 times larger than all TeleTracking’s previous federal contracts combined.
Writer: Dina Temple-Raston