Ken Cuccinelli, acting deputy secretary of Homeland Security and member of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus outbreak taskforce, reached out to Twitter to help him find an outbreak map from Johns Hopkins University. 

The online dashboard run by Johns Hopkins University went temporarily offline due to traffic on the website. Cuccinelli, frustrated with the website’s crash, tweeted, “Has the Johns Hopkins map of the coronavirus stopped working for other people, or just me?”

In a since-deleted tweet, he continued, “I just tried again, and it looks like Johns Hopkins put the information behind a membership wall of some kind. Seems like bad timing to stop helping the world with this (previously) useful resource. Here’s hoping it goes back up soon.” 

Many users were concerned that a White House aide was using information not provided by the Center for Disease Control. In response to this criticism, Cuccinelli continued, “For some of you who have commented on the subject, I do have the benefit of CDC’s data. Obviously, my view is the more sources the better.  I also appreciate the easy access to non-China country data.”

Johns Hopkins’ information has been cited to the World Health Organization, the Center for Disease Control, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, the National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China, and (an online community for physicians in China).

The website was eventually restored, tweeting that the outage was caused by high site traffic.

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