COVID-19 Data Is Missing A Lot Of People — And Raising Questions

When is data good data? That's an important question – especially after a year of watching COVID statistics being lobbed around by the minute. We need good data to see how this year has gone and to know what action to take in the future. 

Unfortunately, says Dr. Paul Spiegel of Johns Hopkins Center for Humanitarian Health, in lower-income countries and among certain at-risk populations, reliable data isn't always available. So when people cite statistics, much of the world is left out or assigned inaccurate data. 

Where are the gaps in data collected on the pandemic? How does a lack of data affect fragile populations such as refugees or those in conflict areas? Spiegel, who wrote about such issues in an article published on Monday in Nature Medicine, spoke to NPR about these questions and about how wealthier countries can really be of help to low-income nations — and shared the one piece of data from the past year that really shocked him.


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Divya Mishra

Dr. Divya Mishra worked with the Center of Humanitarian Health as a doctoral...

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Hannah Hamrick

Hannah is a Senior Project Manager at the Johns Hopkins Center for Humanitarian...

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C. Nicholas Cuneo

C. Nicholas Cuneo MD, MPH, is a board-certified pediatrician and adult internist...

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Gurpreet Kaur

Dr. Gurpreet Kaur is a US-board licensed Family Physician and recent JHSPH MPH...

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Barbara Hall

Barbara has spent most of her adult life involved in the field of philanthropy....

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