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Tags: walensky | cdc | covid-19 | health | virus

CDC Director: 'Dramatic' Mistakes During Pandemic Prompt Reset

Dr. Rochelle Walensky (Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 23 August 2022 11:14 AM EDT

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky said during a televised interview Tuesday that the agency is "resetting" after admitting it made "dramatic" mistakes in reacting to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"For 75 years, CDC, and truly all public health in this nation, have been preparing for something like the size and scope of COVID-19," Walensky said during an appearance on NBC’s “Today” program Tuesday. "We need to recognize that in our big moment, our performance didn't reliably meet the expectations of this country, and that's exactly why I called for this 'reset,' why I called for this review."

Walensky told the CDC's 11,000 employees in a video last week that it was "responsible for some pretty dramatic, pretty public mistakes, from testing to data to communications," the New York Times reported Aug. 17.

According to the report, the agency deployed a "faulty" COVID-19 test to the nation that may have set back efforts to prevent the rapid spread of the disease that the agency reported has killed more than 1 million people in the United States.

Walensky also said that the agency released data too late for the federal government to make decisions on how best to battle the pandemic. She hopes changes will speed up the release of data, and for it to deliver "clear, concise messages about public health threats, in plain language that can be grasped without sifting through voluminous pages on a website," the report said.

"We have some extraordinary people at the CDC who are often up all night to protect America's health," Walensky said Tuesday. "And my goal really as we hit this reset was to have a new public health action-oriented culture that really emphasizes accountability, that emphasizes collaboration with our public health partners across the country, communication to the American public and timeliness with our information to the American public."

The Times reported that Walensky also wants to reform the CDC's internal promotion system to focus on contributions to public health, rather than just rewarding employees based on academic achievements and published papers.

"I think for a long time, CDC has undervalued the importance of direct communication to the public with information the public can use," Dr. Richard E. Besser, who served as acting director of the agency during the Obama administration, told the Times.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky said during a televised interview Tuesday that the agency is "resetting" after admitting it made "dramatic" mistakes in reacting to the COVID-19 pandemic.
walensky, cdc, covid-19, health, virus
385
2022-14-23
Tuesday, 23 August 2022 11:14 AM
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