Latest updates on COVID-19: July 16, 2020

ABC News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jen Ashton with the latest news on the coronavirus.
2:34 | 07/16/20

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Transcript for Latest updates on COVID-19: July 16, 2020
Some of the major developments we're tracking. Now more than 13.5 million confirmed coronavirus cases around the globe and at least 584,000 deaths with more than 137,000 now losing their lives here at home. With me now ABC chief medical correspondent Dr. Jen Ashton. Dr. Jen, we know the trump administration ordered a bypass of covid-19 data to go around the CDC and to go straight to the department of health and human services via a private sector contractor. A lot of people questioning this decision. What do we know about the role of the CDC in a public health emergency? This is such an important it's a great opportunity to do a deep dive into the CDC. Let's start with its history. Founded in 1946. Actually in response to the prevention of malaria in the United States. So communicable disease surveillance became the cornerstone of the mission of the CDC. Today it's a major component of the department of health and human services. Its role today has expanded. It's now promotion of public health. It's prevention of diseases and preparedness and response as well. Since the beginning of this, six months ago, we've heard criticism and seen criticism of the CDC in its handling of all this. What are some of the issues specifically? To be sure the path has been rocky, not just with this pandemic. We saw some issues in the past. February of 2020 the trump administration proposed cuts of $85 million budget of the CDC. The total budget cut proposed for 2021 would be $693 million. Now, covid-19 testing of course people remember the roll-out had its obstacles and stumbles. There were test malfunctions. Very slow to scale up to the magnitude we needed. There was an issue with how they collected and released clinical data on covid-19. It was slow and incomplete especially with ethnic characteristics. My conversation with Dr. Robert Redfield, the director, said this is a priority for them to correct that very quickly. Of course to be determined how this side stepping of data collection for covid-19 that was just announced will affect the public health response. That is all going to be evolving in the days, weeks and months ahead. Dr. Jen, thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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