“It’s like we’re flying blind”: The US has a Covid-19 data problem. And fall is fast approaching. Six months into America’s battle with Covid-19, we still can’t really see the enemy. There isn’t good real-time data on where the virus is and who it is infecting. Our diagnostic testing is at an all-time high, but it’s still missing the vast majority of infections. We don’t have systematic surveillance programs like we do for the flu to fill in the gaps, and we don’t have good metrics that tell us how well the virus is being contained. We’re particularly in the dark about what’s happening in many minority communities, which have lower testing rates than white communities. We don’t have good foresight into the future either: As the response to the pandemic grows more fractured, and the policies less consistent and more politicized, it’s getting harder to model. “It’s like we’re flying blind,” says Sarah Cobey, an infectious disease modeler at the University of Chicago. To extend the metaphor: When airplane pilots can’t see out their windows, they can rely on their instruments to guide them through a storm. But with the pandemic “we don’t even have that,” Cobey says. “We don’t even have good numbers to be staring at to guide our flying.”