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An investigation finds no merit to charge of COVID data suppression at UF

UF entry sign
University of Florida
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A University of Florida investigation has found no merit to allegations that state or university officials pressured researchers to suppress or destroy COVID-19 research data.

A faculty-led committee formed to investigate the allegations said they likely stemmed from a single incident in October 2020 when a Department of Health official expressed concern with how researchers were using the data.

A University of Florida investigation has found no merit to allegations that state or university officials pressured researchers to suppress or destroy COVID-19 research data.

School officials said Wednesday that a faculty-led committee formed to investigate the allegations said they likely stemmed from a single incident in October 2020 when a Florida Department of Health official expressed concern with how UF researchers were using the data.

The data were gathered exclusively for use in Department of Health public health surveillance activities, and UF researchers had been hired to assist in the public heath surveillance.

Some of the researchers shared the data during an online meeting in ways inconsistent with the confidentiality agreements they had signed. A health official notified the university, and university administrators reminded the UF team about their obligation to follow the confidentiality agreements.

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