Tracking American deaths remains a messy business, even while millions of COVID stimulus dollars were sent to the deceased. A law signed by President Trump allows Social Security to collect death records from states and encourages states to submit information more quickly. But only agencies that pay out benefits may access these state records, while other agencies must use incomplete death records that the Social Security Administration collects.
“To say, you should be the source within government of all of the death data, it’s like, ‘Well, that’s not really exactly what we were set up to do,’” Janet Weiss, professor of public policy, said.
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