CDC's push for quicker public health messaging faces obstacles

The CDC's new plan to accelerate its response to health threats and simplify public messaging is already facing roadblocks, Politico reported Oct. 21

CDC director Rochelle Walensky, MD, announced the agency's plan for reforms Aug. 17, acknowledging that it had failed to respond effectively to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Now, two months later, the agency's limited authority, congressional inaction and resistance from longtime staffers is complicating reform efforts, according to Politico. In an interview with the publication, Dr. Walensky said the agency cannot compel states to share information about disease outbreaks, which makes it difficult to collect and analyze public health data. She also said that more funding from Congress is needed to expand the public health workforce to accelerate messaging to the public. 

Dr. Walenksy said she is trying to lead the agency toward a "sweet spot" between its traditional, slow-moving method for publishing new health findings and ensuring any information made public is accurate, safe and reliable.

"We want to make sure we get the answer right, but when we know the answer, we shouldn't wait to convey it to others," she told Politico. "I think people within the agency recognize the need for change."

Read the full article here.



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