The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will in the coming months undergo a significant reorganization in response to criticism of its delayed pandemic response, Director Rochelle Walensky announced Wednesday.
"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," Walensky said in a statement. "My goal is a new, public health action-oriented culture at CDC that emphasizes accountability, collaboration, communication, and timeliness." The director had initially requested an external review of the CDC back in April, following a few chaotic months at the hands of the highly-infectious Omicron variant, as well as the agency's at-times confusing messaging regarding mitigation measures, writes The New York Times.
The agency's reorganization will focus primarily on "sharing scientific data faster and making it easier for the public to understand health guidance," CNBC writes, per the CDC's fact sheet. There will be a team in charge of implementing changes, as well as an executive council that determines "the agency's key priorities backed up by budget decisions." The council and the CDC's science and laboratory divisions will report to Walensky.
Further, the agency will create an equity office to ensure its workforce is representative of the population and able to effectively communicate its guidance across all demographics, CNBC adds.