CDC reshuffles COVID-19 response: 7 things to know

Kelly Gooch - Print  | 

The CDC has reshuffled the agency's COVID-19 response, Politico reported May 17, citing three senior health officials with the knowledge of the situation.

Seven things to know

1. Health officials told Politico that recent changes include creating a clear reporting chain from the leader of the agency's COVID-19 vaccine task force up to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD. The task force leader originally reported to the CDC and the White House.

2. Politico also reported that the CDC reshuffled the agency's pandemic modeling and data, analytics and visualization task forces.

3. A senior health official told Politico that the CDC decided to reshuffle the pandemic response after several listening tours at the agency found pandemic task forces that did not serve their original mission at this point in the public health crisis or that could be streamlined.

4. At the same time as the changes, Nancy Messonnier, MD, resigned May 7 as director of the CDC National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. Her resignation came after Dr. Messonnier was reassigned from her role leading the agency's COVID-19 vaccine efforts, although she remained the agency's top respiratory disease official. According to Politico, vaccine task force duties were absorbed into an incident management response team overseen by Henry Walke, MD, director of the CDC division of preparedness and emerging infections.

5. Anne Schuchat, MD, principal deputy director of the CDC, also confirmed May 17 that she plans to retire from her role this summer.

6. The CDC changes also come as the agency announced May 13 that fully vaccinated Americans no longer need to wear masks in most settings.

7. In a statement shared with Politico, spokesperson Jason McDonald said the CDC has "reorganized the incident management structure to best suit each phase of the nation's response to COVID-19." He also said that "previous reorganizations added efficiencies and improved collaboration."

Read the full Politico article here.  

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