Some essential information that would show response effectiveness is not being reported at all. Only two states report data on how quickly contact tracers were able to interview people who test positive to learn about potential contacts. Not a single state reports on the turnaround time of diagnostic tests, the analysis found. Week-long waits for results hobble efforts to track real-time virus spread and make contact tracing almost irrelevant.

“States around the country have done good work. They’ve been doing the challenging, hard, meticulous job of collecting, analyzing and presenting crucial information,” Frieden said during a news briefing Tuesday. “But because of the lack of national leadership, we don’t have common standards, definitions, targets or accountability.” As a result, despite a “tsunami of data points,” the United States is “flying blind on the actual risk and the effectiveness of the response.”

Frieden noted that Monday’s case total in the United States exceeded that of all cases in Europe, all in Asia and all in Africa. “With 4 percent of the world’s population, we have one-quarter of covid-reported deaths,” he said. “And during the 45 minutes of this briefing, more than 20 people will die from covid in the U.S. and thousands more will become infected.”