Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky announced Monday that the agency is planning to evaluate the department’s “structures, systems, and processes” following months of unclear messaging during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Thursday’s episode of The Daily Wire’s “Morning Wire” podcast, Daily Wire reporter Ashe Short joined hosts Georgia Howe and John Bickley to discuss the CDC’s latest move to revamp the agency.
Short explained that the move could mean a couple different things. “[O]ne could take it as an indication that America really has moved on from COVID-19 and they’re looking to shift gears right now,” she said. “As things return to normal, it sounds like the CDC is taking the opportunity to look back over how it handled the pandemic and look for ways to improve.”
The CDC’s revamp could also indicate that the CDC is aware of the issues the pandemic exposed within the agency. Short commented that “the agency’s reputation and credibility has taken a huge hit over the past couple years. They are very aware of that, so this move is also about shoring up trust and credibility with the American people.”
Walensky stated that the evaluation will look over how the CDC can better and more quickly respond to virus outbreaks, as well as modernizing its data. “At the conclusion of this collective effort, we will develop new systems and processes to deliver our science and program to the American people, along with a plan for how CDC should be structured to facilitate the public health work we do,” Walensky wrote in an email to agency employees, according to The Washington Post.
The CDC director also mentioned focusing on “health equity,” a term that has controversial political interpretations as Short mentioned on “Morning Wire.” “[In] terms of rooting out partisanship from the agency, it doesn’t look like the review will go that deep,” Short said.
The CDC has also been the center of controversy over its recommendations for closing schools when there wasn’t sufficient data to support such a decision. In August, Walensky also advised Americans to get the COVID-19 booster shots before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or CDC had reviewed data on the shots’ effectiveness.
Yet another criticism of the CDC’s attempt to revamp is that these reviews are being conducted by other government officials, not outsiders.
“The review will be conducted by former acting administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration, Jim Macrae. So, not exactly a government outsider,” Short explained. “They’re also tasking three senior-level CDC officials with gathering feedback. A stronger move would probably be to commission an Inspector General — someone who is paid to be an objective watchdog — that might inspire more confidence in the outcome. As it stands now though, I’m not predicting a real overhaul.”
Thursday’s episode of “Morning Wire,” and all episodes of the podcast, can be found here.