US CDC announces reforms after poor COVID response


The head of the top public health agency in the United States has announced a shake-up of the organisation, saying it fell short while responding to COVID-19.

The planned changes at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , 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.

The CDC’s director, Dr Rochelle Walensky, told the agency’s staff about the changes on Wednesday. It is a CDC initiative, and was not directed by the White House or other administration officials, she said.

“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 told CDC staff.

The Atlanta-based agency, with a $12bn budget and more than 11,000 employees, is charged with protecting Americans from disease outbreaks and other public health threats. It’s customary for each CDC director to do some reorganising, but Walensky’s action comes amid a wider demand for change.

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