On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced plans to spend one month undergoing a “revamp” of its public image, following widespread distrust among the American people due to its numerous inaccurate predictions, draconian mandates, and other missteps during the coronavirus pandemic.
The New York Post reports that CDC Director Rochelle Walensky sent out an email to her staff declaring that “it is time to step back and strategically position CDC to support the future of public health.”
“Over the past year, I have heard from many of you that you would like to see CDC build on its rich history and modernize for the world around us,” Walensky continued. “I am grateful for your efforts to lean into the hard work of transforming CDC for the better. I look forward to our collective efforts to position CDC, and the public health community, for greatest success in the future.”
Walensky also said that she had hired an unnamed outsider to assist with reviewing the CDC’s “structure, systems, and processes.”
Throughout the pandemic, the CDC repeatedly issued contradictory guidelines on how to deal with the coronavirus. Early in the pandemic, the CDC advertised a plan to shut down the country’s economy for just 15 days in order to “slow the spread” of the disease, with the shutdown instead lasting for over two years.
The CDC also initially claimed that once someone got vaccinated, they would no longer need to wear a mask, only to reverse course and continue to insist on mask mandates for schools and other indoor places. The CDC also flip-flopped on the question of the vaccine’s efficiency, initially promising that being vaccinated would protect Americans from catching the virus, only to later admit that vaccinated Americans could still get sick.
In an NBC News poll in January, only 44 percent of Americans said they trusted the CDC, compared to 69 percent at the start of the pandemic.
Walensky tried to justify the CDC’s hasty declarations in a statement to the Washington Post. “Never in its 75-year history has CDC had to make decisions so quickly, based on often limited, real-time, and evolving science,” she claimed. “As we’ve challenged our state and local partners, we know that now is the time for CDC to integrate the lessons learned into a strategy for the future.”