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US CDC revamps structure, shifts focus after criticism of pandemic response

"For 75 years, CDC and Public Health have prepared for COVID-19, but at our critical time, our achievements are certainly promising."

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Julie Steenhuysen

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Headquarters, Atlanta, Georgia . Photo by Tami Chappell//Reuters/File

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it prioritized the public health response. . After months of criticism over its handling of the COVID-19 and monkeypox pandemics, it has revamped its structure.

According to a briefing document provided by the agency on Wednesday, an external report on the response found public guidance was causing confusion, but key information It was published too late to inform us of the federal government's decision. said it was making a series of changes to de-emphasize the publication of well-vetted scientific papers.

We have been prepared, but our performance has certainly fallen short of expectations during our critical time," Wallenski told CDC staff. We all want to do better, and it starts with the CDC leading the way," she said, focusing on accountability, collaboration, communication, and timeliness.

Plans to modernize agencies include giving the CDC new powers to require states to report data and changes, according to a background briefing document shared with Reuters. It includes giving, which will allow the CDC to hire more staff and offer more competitive salaries. Both actions require congressional approval.

  1. In this photo taken on July 19, 2021, a man wears an American flag face mask on a street in Hollywood, California, on the second day of the return of the indoor mask mandate in Los Angeles County due to a spike in COVID-19 cases.

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  2. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky speaks to the press after visiting the Hynes Convention Center FEMA Mass Vaccination Site on March 30, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts.

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As part of the change, the CDC announced that former Acting Undersecretary of Health and Human Services in the Obama administration, Mary The agency said it would appoint Wakefield to lead a team to help implement the restructuring.

This procedure follows an external review mandated by Walensky in April of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To encourage more rapid communication, Mr. Wallenski shared his findings before they were fully published, and reviewed his data online to expedite his process. I want to create his mechanism.

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