CDC head Rochelle Walensky calls for agency’s reorganization, citing lackluster COVID-19 pandemic response

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walsensky called for a reorganization of her agency on Wednesday, citing its slow, confusing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“For 75 years, C.D.C. and public health have been preparing for COVID-19, and in our big moment, our performance did not reliably meet expectations,” Walensky said Wednesday, according to The New York Times. “My goal is a new, public health, action-oriented culture at C.D.C. that emphasizes accountability, collaboration, communication, and timeliness.”

In a meeting with senior staff on Wednesday, Walensky outlined a plan to reorganize the federal health agency to prioritize public health needs and curbing outbreaks over the publication of scientific papers on rare diseases, The Times reported.

The decision comes on the heels of an external report ordered by Walensky in April. James Macrae, a former senior official at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the CDC, lead a review of the agency’s COVID response. His report hasn’t been completed or released, The Times reported.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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