With the endorsement of Gov. Kate Brown, the Oregon Health Authority has suddenly decided to stop reporting the county, location of death, date of a positive coronavirus test, date of death and perhaps most importantly, general presence of underlying health conditions.
For the past 10 months, Oregon provided all of these details, exceeding that of all other states. Now this is coming to an end as officials claim it is "too much work" to continue reporting all this information.
"I believe that there's real human value in seeing these individuals that we've lost each day, even if we don't know their names, or really much about them at all other than their age and location," responded Sen. Michael Dembrow, a Portland Democrat who writes a daily newsletter about the Chinese virus.
"Still, they come across as individuals, as more than a statistic. I value that, particularly in the midst of this dreadful pandemic, and I know many of you do as well."
Several Senate Republicans agreed, writing on Twitter that the whole thing "smells like a cover-up from here."
Dru Draper, a spokesman for the caucus, said the health authority should continue doing what it has been doing since the beginning of the "pandemic," which is to report the biographical details of deaths cases as normal.
"It seems like that was working," Draper is quoted as saying. "At the end of the day, what's the reason to give people less information? Why are we changing the way we are reporting deaths all of the sudden?"
The good news is that deaths in people who test positive for the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) in Oregon are declining, and have been ever since December. At the same time, this should mean that health authorities have it easier reporting extensive details about these cases.
Their excuse that continuing to do so is too time-consuming simply does not fly, and some in the legislature believe it could have something to do with Brown's prioritizing of teachers over the elderly in the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine line.
"It seems like that's the only thing that could have changed the calculus," Draper says.
Other House Republicans agree, including Republican Leader Christine Drazan of Canby.
"The decision to suspend access to key information calls into question the governor's commitment to transparency and accountability at a time when state-level decisions have made Oregon a national outlier by ignoring CDC guidelines and dismissing a science-based approach to vaccine distribution," Drazan pointed out in a statement.
"In order to maintain trust and preserve transparency, Governor Brown and OHA must reverse yesterday's decision and commit to providing clear, consistent and timely data in all categories moving forward."
A rebuttal statement from Brown's office says a new data dashboard, unveiled the same day as the reporting change, will still provide timely information to the public that allows all Oregonians to see a "full picture" of deaths in the state that are blamed on the Chinese virus.
"To my knowledge, no state in the nation discloses as much COVID-19 data to the media and public as Oregon," stated Charles Boyle.
What we know is that most of the people who are dying with the WuFlu in Oregon are very old and have underlying health conditions. Very few deaths are occurring in younger people who test positive.
More Chinese virus news can be found at Pandemic.news.
Sources for this article include: