August 19, 2022

CDC Shakeup

“The head of the nation’s top public health agency on Wednesday announced a shake-up of the organization, saying it fell short responding to COVID-19 and needs to become more nimble. The planned changes at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — CDC leaders call it a ‘reset’— come amid criticism of the agency’s response to COVID-19, monkeypox and other public health threats. The changes include internal staffing moves and steps to speed up data releases.” AP News

“The nation’s top public health agency relaxed its COVID-19 guidelines [last] Thursday, dropping the recommendation that Americans quarantine themselves if they come into close contact with an infected person. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also said people no longer need to stay at least 6 feet away from others.” AP News

See past issues

From the Right

The right is critical of the CDC and urges accountability for its failings.

From the Left

The left is critical of the new guidelines and calls for reforms and additional investment in public health.

The left is critical of the new guidelines and calls for reforms and additional investment in public health.

A libertarian's take

“When the CDC was founded on July 1, 1946, as the Communicable Disease Center, its chief mission was to control and eliminate the scourge of malaria from the United States. By 1951, the efforts overseen by the agency succeeded in eradicating the mosquito-borne illness from the 13 southeastern states in which it was endemic. The agency was further tasked in 1948 with investigating typhus, polio, rabies, hookworm, tuberculosis, and viral encephalitis. The CDC played a major role in the global eradication of smallpox and the elimination of endemic polio, measles, and rubella in the United States…

“Over the decades, the agency lost its focus on monitoring and fighting epidemic infectious diseases as it accumulated new branches and offices that aimed to combat ‘epidemics’ of obesity, smoking, and violence. All of these issues have public health implications but not nearly the same urgency that actual epidemics caused by novel infectious diseases do. The manifold failures of the agency during the COVID-19 pandemic show that the CDC needs radical reform—not just Walensky's goals of improved communications and less bureaucratic turnover—that returns the agency to its infectious-disease fighting roots.”
Ronald Bailey, Reason

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