On Wednesday, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky announced that the agency will undergo an “ambitious” overhaul.
The changes come in the wake of a review Walensky commissioned to assess the agency’s response to Covid. While the findings have not been publicly disclosed, Walensky did not shy away from addressing the missteps the agency made during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“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,” Walensky wrote in an all-staff email.
Some of the critical fumbles include the CDC-designed test failing to detect Covid and the agency’s confusing messaging around how long infected persons should isolate.
To lead the reform at the agency, Walensky appointed Mary Wakefield. The agency is also creating a new executive council and a new equity office. Some of the improvements will require approval from Congress, namely asking Congress to mandate data sharing with the CDC. Still outstanding is whether or not Congress will increase the agency’s budget to aid the reform.