The COVID Tracking Project is a volunteer effort to collect the best available data on what the hell is happening in terms of tests, cases, hospitalizations, and deaths every day. They have been running non-stop for almost a year now. They are the best publicly available data in the United States.
They are ending their efforts next month:
Some important news about CTP: After a year of collecting, analyzing, and interpreting COVID-19 data for the United States—and months of preparation for what we’re about to announce—we’re ending our data compilation work on March 7. https://t.co/HtM9c0lwDB
— The COVID Tracking Project (@COVID19Tracking) February 1, 2021
It is not because the pandemic is over.
It is because they can trust that the Federal Government can and will be a reliable counter of critical things and also a reliable distributor of the data that they have assembled.
Counting is critical. It is a baseline competency to identify where things are good and where things are bad. It is a baseline skill to identify where things are getting better now and where things are getting worse now. It is a baseline function. And the federal government should have both deep expertise in counting things, the skilled staff to do so, the relationships with the relevant non-national governmental units and the cash to surge resources into counting things on a daily basis when there is a pressing need to do so.
The COVID Tracking Project on its own is a massive success.
The COVID Tracking Project as the most reliable source of near-ish real time data is a stunning indictment of our society. A bunch of volunteers performing a key, essential and basic function for over a year into a national emergency because the government was unwilling to do so is stunning.
Now we’re just getting back to plausibly competent governance again.