RI State Minority Leader Michael Chippendale excoriates URI for its “wholly inadequate response” to a simple data request for a deidentified tally of the number of student covid-19 lower respiratory tract infection hospitalizations during the pandemic

Full Letter/FOI request here: Chip APRA URI 1.17.23

Key extracts:

“A recent request was made of the University under the above-cited statute to obtain the data listed in Item 1 below. The response to the request was wholly inadequate. In the context of the academic research requiring the requested data, the doctor performing the research was able to obtain the very same information from the University of Connecticut in a matter of days by request. In the case of the University of Massachusetts, that institution publishes those data on a website for the public to review. The tracking and aggregation of these data are critical in the crafting of scientifically sound health policy.”

  • 1) Any and all data that would show simple, deidentified raw number tallies comparing students hospitalized for covid-19 lower respiratory tract infection (i.e., pneumonia, bronchiolitis, bronchitis), vs. those hospitalized for serious adverse events after covid-19 vaccination, in particular, myopericarditis in young men, or anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction) in either young men or women. To the extent that the University or its health services may not maintain records responsive to this request, this request shall further include data pertaining to absences of students related to COVID-19 infections or post-COVID vaccination complications, or any other data collected through any other means, that would enable the University to determine the number of students affected. The time period for this data under this request is March 1, 2020 through December 31, 2022.
  • 2) Should the University not track this data, please provide me with the name and contact information of the entity that would maintain the data requested in item 1 above.
  • 3) In the event that there is no formal tracking of this data, please provide my office with a comprehensive breakdown of the following: a) What data are being used to craft masking and vaccination policy at the University of RI.;  b) Who, or which body makes the decisions regarding public health policy involving masking and vaccinations? c) What is the source of the data referenced in Item 3(a)?

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