CDC Director Announces Shakeup at Public Health Agency Over Botched Covid Response

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky announced on Wednesday that she aims to overhaul the agency in response to the missteps in its Covid response, CNN reports.

Walensky told senior leaders that she aims to foster a culture to “help the agency move faster” in responding to public health crises and make it “easier for other parts of the government to work with the CDC,” according to the report. Walensky also wants to simplify and streamline the CDC’s website to “get rid of overlapping and contradictory public health guidance.”

"My goal is a new, public health action-oriented culture at CDC that emphasizes accountability, collaboration, communication, and timeliness.  I look forward to working with the incredible people at CDC and our partners to realize the agency's fullest potential to benefit the health and well-being of all Americans," Walensky said in a statement on Wednesday.

Covid missteps:

The overhaul comes in response to the agency’s handling of the pandemic.

Walensky earlier this year announced a multi-prong review of the CDC’s Covid response.

Walensky has met with officials reviewing the response to discuss recommended strategic changes in recent months.

The agency struggled to improve testing capacity early in the pandemic and came under fire for releasing a flawed test.

The CDC has also faced criticism for confusing or ineffective public health guidelines.

HHS deputy to head overhaul:

Walensky is expected to bring in former Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary Mary Wakefield to oversee the reorganization.

The agency will also create a new office of intergovernmental affairs to help other federal agencies work with the CDC.

Walensky will ask Congress to approve new powers for the CDC, including a requirement that states share their public health data and increased flexibility for the agency’s funding.


Related News