Headline RoundupAugust 17th, 2022

CDC Announces Organizational Changes After Not Meeting 'Expectations' During Pandemic

AllSides Summary

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky on Wednesday outlined plans to reorganize the agency following a review of its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Walensky acknowledged the bipartisan criticism the CDC faced over its COVID-19 response and said that the agency's "performance did not reliably meet expectations." Some proposed provisions included efforts to better communicate with the public, speed up data releases and expand the internal team that responds to public health emergencies. Walensky noted that these changes could foster a more "action-oriented culture" that "emphasizes accountability, collaboration, communication, and timeliness."

The announcement comes a week after the CDC loosened recommendations for quarantine procedures and social distancing. While COVID-19 infections have gradually winded down since last winter, some experts have shifted their concerns toward the uncertainty surrounding long COVID and the national response to the monkeypox outbreak.

Coverage was mostly balanced across the spectrum. Some reports accentuated criticisms that claimed the CDC has been "too academic" and "rigid," which has discouraged the public from "trusting updated advice." Others highlighted the agency's "lack of nimbleness" and failure to acknowledge that people "continue to die" from the virus daily.

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