The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Wednesday announced a “drastic” overhaul of the agency aimed at modernizing it and rescuing its reputation after widespread criticism of its COVID-19 response and, more recently, the monkeypox outbreak.
“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,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in an email to the agency’s 11,000-person staff.
Walensky said the overhaul will focus on making the agency more nimble and responsive to needs that arise in health emergencies.
The CDC in a statement said it has never in its 75-year history “had to make decisions so quickly, based on limited and evolving science,” and that the agency’s traditional scientific and communication processes were “not adequate to effectively respond to a crisis the size and scope of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
According to CBS News, Walensky’s proposed internal changes include:
· Expand the CDC staff focused on public health emergencies.
· Require officials to stay in those jobs for at least six months.
· Establish an office of intergovernmental affairs to facilitate partnerships with other agencies.
· Create a health equity office.
· Increase use of preprint scientific reports for issuing public health guidance, rather than waiting for research to be reviewed by peers and published by the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.