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The Federal Government Wasn’t Tracking COVID-19 Cases In Schools, So Emily Oster Decided To Do It Herself

Data has been such a valuable commodity during the pandemic. But at times it’s been in short supply, as U.S. government agencies haven’t always undertaken national data collection efforts. So what happens when individual citizens try to collect data themselves? We talk to Brown University professor Emily Oster, who developed the national COVID-19 School Response Dashboard, to find out what she’s learned about COVID-19 in schools, the implications of volunteers developing their own public health trackers and how she thinks the incoming Biden administration will approach pandemic data collection. Oster is also a best-selling author, known for her pregnancy and parenting books “Cribsheet” and “Expecting Better.”

[Related: How To Make Sure People Come Back For Their Second COVID-19 Vaccine Dose]


What the COVID-19 vaccine means for political battles to come

Anna Rothschild is FiveThirtyEight’s senior producer for video.

Sinduja Srinivasan was the producer for PODCAST-19.

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