ATLANTA — In the wake of criticism over its handling of the pandemic, Atlanta’s Centers for Disease Control will begin a one month review Monday, one that could lead to changes at the 75-year-old agency.
“Never in its 75 year history has CDC had to make decision so quickly, based on often limited, real time, and evolving science,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a statement. “We know that now is the time for CDC to integrate the lessons learned into a strategy for the future.”
From White House briefings to messages on social media, Dr. Walensky has delivered updates and advice. Now, she acknowledges that Atlanta’s CDC needs to work on its messaging.
The agency been accused of mixed messaging when it comes to guidance on masks and vaccines. Recently, the director of Piedmont’s COVID task force criticized changes in the way the CDC measures COVID risk.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the CDC tells us the agency has “worked to speed up data reporting” throughout the pandemic.
“This is the largest response in the agency’s history, and the greatest pandemic the county has faced in more than 100 years,” the statement goes on to say. “During the past year, CDC has worked to speed up data reporting and scientific processes throughout its pandemic response. Work is needed to institutionalize and formalize these approaches and to find new ways to adapt the agency’s structure to the changing environment.”
An administrator with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will be part of the month long review.
Dr. Walensky said the CDC is working to modernize the agency.
“This work will allow CDC to develop new systems and processes to deliver science to the American people.” Walensky said.