HHS head defends CDC director: 'She doesn't have a degree in marketing'

Amid public criticism over CDC guidelines and updates, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra defended CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, on CNN Newsroom on Jan. 10.

Victor Blackwell, CNN host, asked Mr. Becerra about the topic, saying recent CDC COVID-19 guidance has been "confusing" and "sometimes contradictory." 

Amid public and industry backlash, the CDC has most recently stood by newly updated isolation guidelines stating that people with COVID-19 may end isolation after five days without a negative test if their symptoms are improving and they are fever-free.  

Mr. Becerra defended the leader, saying, "Dr. Rochelle Walensky is an infectious disease expert. She has a medical license and she also has a degree in public health. She doesn't have a degree in marketing." He then said, "Who do I want running CDC? Someone who knows infectious diseases, someone who understands this stuff. And so, while we may have issues with some of the marketing that's been done, I guarantee you, Dr. Walensky is someone we need at CDC."

Mr. Blackwell agreed that Dr. Walensky's credentials were valuable but argued that being able to relay the message clearly is equally important. Dr. Becerra pushed back and said the director was clear and "based her words on the science." 


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