CDC chief details plan to overhaul agency: Bloomberg

In the wake of criticism over its "delayed and inconsistent response" to COVID-19, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, is moving forward with a new initiative — the CDC Moving Forward project — that will overhaul "top-to-bottom" the fundamental workings of the agency, according to Bloomberg

Dr. Walensky, who took over as CDC chief at the beginning of President Joe Biden's administration, has said she wants to revitalize the agency. She conducted a comprehensive review of the CDC's crisis responsiveness after the agency was pummeled by complaints about how it handled the pandemic. 

The review uncovered deep holes in the agency's emergency preparedness strategy, according to Bloomberg.

"We really have to demonstrate that we're action-oriented," Dr. Walensky told Bloomberg. "I don't want to repeat old mistakes."

Proposed changes include moving from an academic-focused organization to one that is more CDC workforce-oriented. In addition to crisis management training for all employees, the new strategy includes a requirement for all CDC employees to be ready to deploy in times of a national healthcare crisis. This move will lead to shifting from the CDC's volunteer system.

There will likely also be a restructuring of management, more focus on laboratory sciences and the possibility of forming a unit at the CDC entirely dedicated to battling coronaviruses.

Recognizing what some might call missteps regarding the CDC's response to COVID-19, Dr. Walensky, former chief of Boston-based Massachusetts General Hospital's infectious disease division, also said she is ready to testify if the House of Representatives opens an investigation into how the CDC managed the pandemic.



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