CDC commits to change after COVID-19 response shortcomings

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, acknowledged the agency failed to effectively respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, and committed to prioritizing future public health responses through a series of changes, The Washington Post reported Aug. 17.

"For 75 years, CDC and public health have been preparing for COVID-19, and in our big moment, our performance did not reliably meet expectations," Dr. Walensky said in a public statement. "My goal is a new, public health action-oriented culture at CDC that emphasizes accountability, collaboration, communication, and timeliness."

Mary Wakefield, PhD, a former deputy health secretary in the Obama administration, will lead the revampment efforts. Some measures are internal while others require action from Congress. The agency will also establish a new equity office.

The recommendations originate from an internal review of the agency ordered by Dr. Walensky earlier this year, the Post reported.


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