CDC Director Rochelle Walensky Announces Departure From Public Health Agency
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 11: Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gives an opening statement before a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on January 11, 2022 in Washington, D.C. The committee will hear testimony about the federal response to COVID-19 and new, emerging variants. (Photo by Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images)
Greg Nash-Pool via Getty Images

Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is slated to leave the public health agency at the end of next month.

The official assumed office on the day President Joe Biden was inaugurated and played a central role in the administration’s response to COVID, which involved the continued nationwide rollout of vaccines and a controversial requirement that federal workers receive the inoculation. She previously served as chief of the infectious diseases division at Massachusetts General Hospital and a professor at Harvard Medical School.

“The end of the COVID-19 public health emergency marks a tremendous transition for our country, for public health, and in my tenure as CDC Director,” Walensky said in a Friday statement. “I took on this role, at your request, with the goal of leaving behind the dark days of the pandemic and moving CDC, and public health, forward into a much better and more trusted place.”

Walensky will cease her official duties on June 30. Biden lauded her work at the public health agency in a separate statement from the White House.

“As Director of the CDC, she led a complex organization on the frontlines of a once-in-a-generation pandemic with honesty and integrity. She marshalled our finest scientists and public health experts to turn the tide on the urgent crises we’ve faced,” the commander-in-chief said. “Dr. Walensky leaves CDC a stronger institution, better positioned to confront health threats and protect Americans. We have all benefited from her service and dedication to public health, and I wish her the best in her next chapter.”

Beyond the federal vaccine mandate, which was officially nixed earlier this week, the Biden administration attempted to impose vaccine requirements on private employers through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, an emergency order which the Supreme Court overturned last year after The Daily Wire filed a federal lawsuit.

Walensky meanwhile garnered controversy for providing teachers union officials “unprecedented access” to view and shape COVID response guidelines, a privilege that the unions leveraged to implement a “trigger” provision that would cause schools to automatically close should COVID test positivity rates reach certain thresholds, according to a report from the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis.

Kelly Tratner, the senior director for health issues at the American Federation of Teachers, suggested the “trigger” provision to Walensky in an email that she forwarded to a fellow CDC administrator. The suggestion was included in a guidance published on the following day.


Walensky admitted last year that the CDC made mistakes in its COVID response and called for a “reset” that would include staffing changes and faster data releases. She contended that the agency should create a “new office to promote equity in healthcare” and develop a “more nimble workforce that can quickly respond to public health crises.”

Critics of the federal response to COVID assert that inconsistent guidance from senior officials eroded trust in the government’s public health agencies. Anthony Fauci, who retired from his longtime role as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the end of last year, earned a special degree of criticism for his various recommendations regarding business closures, face masks, and vaccine boosters.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  CDC Director Rochelle Walensky Announces Departure From Public Health Agency