The director of the CDC, Rochelle Walensky, announced an overhaul after botching the pandemic, which had a significant impact on Americans’ lives.
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The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced on Wednesday that the organization would undergo a complete overhaul – and will revamp everything from its operations to its culture after failing to meet expectations during the pandemic, according to Bloomberg. This comes after more than two years of failures and backtracking over Covid-19 guidance that had a significant impact on Americans’ lives.
Director Rochelle Walensky began telling CDC’s staff Wednesday that the changes are aimed at replacing the agency’s insular, academic culture with one that’s quicker to respond to emergencies. That will mean more rapidly turning research into health recommendations, working better with other parts of government and improving how the CDC communicates with the public. -Bloomberg
“For 75 years, CDC and public health have been preparing for Covid-19, and in our big moment, our performance did not reliably meet expectations,” said Director Rochelle Walensky. “I want us all to do better and it starts with CDC leading the way. My goal is a new, public health action-oriented culture at CDC that emphasizes accountability, collaboration, communication and timeliness.”
According to Bloomberg, “The agency has been faulted for an inadequate testing and surveillance program, for not collecting important data on how the virus was spreading and how vaccines were performing, for being too under the influence of the White House during the Trump administration and for repeated challenges communicating to a politically divided and sometimes skeptical public.”
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In a video message sent to CDC employees on Wednesday morning, Walensky made the news and noted that the US still has “significant work to do” to strengthen its public health defenses.
“Prior to this pandemic, our infrastructure within the agency and around the country was too frail to tackle what we confronted with Covid-19,” she said. “To be frank, we are responsible for some pretty dramatic, pretty public mistakes — from testing, to data, to communications.”
After the CDC acknowledged that “unvaccinated people now have the same guidance as vaccinated people” and that those exposed to COVID-19 are no longer required to quarantine, the organization underwent a major overhaul.