I’m Betsy Ladyzhets, an independent science, health, and data journalist currently focused on tracking the pandemic. I run the COVID-19 Data Dispatch, a publication that provides news, resources, and original reporting on COVID-19 data. I’m also a (part-time) journalism fellow at Documenting COVID-19, a project that obtains, publishes, and reports on COVID-related public records, housed at MuckRock and the Brown Institute for Media Innovation.

Previously, I worked as a data journalist at Stacker and volunteered for the COVID Tracking Project at The Atlantic. My freelance work has appeared in Science News, The Atlantic, FiveThirtyEight, MIT Technology Review, TIME.com, and other national publications.

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The ‘Uncounted:’ People of color are dying at much higher rates than what COVID data suggests

The true toll of the COVID-19 pandemic on many communities of color is worse than previously known. This feature –a collaboration between MuckRock, USA TODAY, and local newsrooms in three states – explores this trend using data from the CDC and Boston University researchers.

Wastewater can predict COVID-19 surges, but NYC’s data remains hard to find

Since early 2020, New York City has become a pioneer of wastewater surveillance, a method of tracking diseases in sewage that gained prominence during the COVID-19 pandemic. But city agencies are not being transparent about what they’re finding in our waste or how the data is used to inform public health decisions, according to a monthslong reporting collaboration between Gothamist and MuckRock.

We found dozens of ‘Long COVID’ deaths across the U.S., as defined by the CDC. Here are some of their stories.

As the CDC released a study of thousands of Long COVID deaths, the MuckRock team conducted an original analysis of death records to identify some of these cases and provide broader context for the CDC’s report.

How researchers are working to fill the gaps in long COVID data

It’s been more than two years since the first long COVID patients called attention to their condition, but researchers are still unable to answer basic questions about it. This article explores how scientists are working to fill those gaps, with a focus on collaborations.

People With Long Covid Face Barriers to Government Disability Benefits

People with Long COVID are facing years-long wait times, insufficient legal support, and a lack of clear guidance on how to prove they are disabled — compounded by the challenges of a medical system that does not have a uniform process for diagnosing Long COVID, according to health experts and disability attorneys.

The COVID Data That Are Actually Useful Now

It is a truth universally acknowledged among health experts that official COVID-19 data are a mess right now. This article for The Atlantic explains how to find and interpret newer data sources, including wastewater surveillance and population surveys.