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Seeking More COVID Data Transparency

Editors at Issues and Insights call for more transparency in the government’s release of COVID-19 data.

Since the early days of the pandemic, the public has been misled and misinformed, the goalposts pulled down and taken out of the stadium, and the data too often puzzling. Much of the country has lost confidence in politicians and public health officials. It’s important to know if those doubts are legitimate or misplaced.

One route to the truth would be a federal grand jury probe that would determine if the case and death counts have been inflated and not reflective of reality.

Would it be a witch hunt? A political sideshow? No. It would be a sober and justifiable inquiry. The nation deserves to know if a crisis was manufactured or real. If the numbers are accurate, then a probe will go a long way toward restoring confidence in our public health officials. If they’re not, then someone needs to be held accountable for the errors, negligence, or intentional deception that hurt so many and divided a country.

“??Public health policy must be based upon accurate and independently verifiable data to optimize outcomes and strengthen the public’s trust in the people leading them through this crisis,” say a couple of Republican legislators in Oregon who are asking the U.S. attorney there for an “independent state and/or special federal grand jury investigation” of the data.

“The ability to definitively diagnose who is infectious,” they continue, “and distinguish them from who is not is paramount in assessing the situation and ensuring the people in immediate need receive the skilled care they deserve.”

More than 1,700 Oregonians and 53,000 in total have signed the lawmakers’ petition.

The pair, state Sens. Kim Thatcher and Dennis Linthicum, don’t appear to be deniers. That they regular consult with, and are advised by, “a large team of world renowned doctors, epidemiologists, virologists, and attorneys who keep us up to date on a number of pertinent COVID topics and issues relevant to public health policy” leads us to believe they are merely seeking clarity in a fog of war.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...