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The CDC is Wasting its Time With Reorganization

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said this week that her agency made “some pretty dramatic public mistakes” in its treatment of the coronavirus and promised to “pivot” to better serve the public.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s main issue has never been communication. That was due to the inability of its haughty and politicized leadership to speak the truth. Because of this, nobody gives a hoot about the CDC’s recommendations, regardless of what they may be. Walensky’s departure is the first step toward recovery.

When her organization released instructions for reopening schools in February 2021, Walensky remarked, “I can assure you that this is free from political meddling.” Many school districts have stuck with remote learning rules that have turned out to be harmful to students because of those guidelines.

Why did this choice that would hurt so many people get made? Walensky’s assertion is disproved by emails that were later obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. Politics were deeply embedded in the CDC’s recommendations for schools. American Federation of Teachers union bosses, who had supported Joe Biden for president, pressured the CDC hard to change the rules so that their members wouldn’t have to return to the classroom. Walensky did what she was told by her political superiors in the AFT and implemented the AFT’s new policy at the CDC. Due to political interference, millions of kids were deprived of a chance to go to school in person, which has led to a huge loss of education and knowledge.

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Walensky should be thrown out of a window for all the damage she’s done to education. There is, however, much more to consider.

Walensky also made the incorrect assertion that vaccinated persons are not a source of the coronavirus. For political reasons, her organization kept COVID information from the public. She attempted to use her position to enact a nationwide prohibition on evictions, but the Supreme Court ruled against her. She predicted a government vaccination requirement, then maintained there wouldn’t be one, and then backed President Biden’s attempt to implement a mandate, which was also overruled by the Supreme Court.

In terms of social distance, is 3 feet the optimal distance or 6 feet? Dr. Walensky advocated for two opposing views, none of which were ever supported by hard evidence. In the same vein, the CDC’s decision to reduce the isolation period for COVID exposure from 10 to 5 days was made without any basis in research.

The ability of the CDC to carry out its mission is directly proportional to the degree to which it is trusted by the general population. Over the course of the last 18 months, the CDC’s credibility has been eroded by policy shifts and decisions that were clearly motivated by politics. The agency has an urgent need to regain its former reputation. The first step is to ensure that the existing leadership is held to account.