Dr. Walensky: Overhauling US healthcare system 'too big for the CDC alone'

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, said the U.S. needs to rethink its approach to public health and that the CDC alone cannot fix the system, Politico reported Jan. 21. 

Dr. Walensky said the job of the CDC is not to fix public health or the pandemic on its own, and she insisted wide reforms are needed.

"Businesses have to help, the government has to help, school systems have to help. This is too big for the CDC alone," she said. 

Dr. Walensky also called for large-scale investments in the healthcare workforce, advocating for recruiting more statisticians and data analysts, hiring nurses locally and staffing emergency departments. The public health sector has lost almost 80,000 workers in the last decade, but she said she is hopeful the pandemic is a catalyst for change that could reverse that trend of attrition. 

"You can't create a workforce. You have to upskill the workforce. We need to train it. We need to make public health an attractive workforce to enter," Dr. Walensky told Politico.

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