The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director announced Wednesday a “reset,” which will help the organization respond faster to new threats to health, amid criticisms of its response to COVID-19. Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the CDC, informed the agency’s staff of the changes. These include staffing moves, and steps to speed data releases.
Walensky stated that the changes are a CDC initiative, and not directed by the White House.
Wednesday’s announcements included a restructuring and redesign of the communications office of the agency and a revamping of its website. This was done to make public health guidance more easily accessible and to increase the use preprint scientific reports for faster access to actionable data.
Another change was the creation of an executive council to assist Walensky in setting strategy and priorities. Some changes that were made under the Trump administration were also reversed.
These changes are being made amid criticisms of the agency’s response against COVID-19, monkeypox, and other threats to public health.
Experts claimed that the CDC failed to recognize the extent of the virus entering the U.S. through Europe. They recommended that people wear masks to prevent the virus spreading through the air.
The CDC has a budget of $12 billion and employs more than 11,000 people. Walensky was appointed director of the agency on January 20, 2021.