February 8, 2023

Public health leaders are calling for an agency-wide review of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in a scathing new indictment of how it works.

A 30-page report released by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) calls for CDC to hire and retain higher-quality staff, release information faster, and rebuild public trust in the agency after a difficult pandemic period.

The beleaguered agency has faced a difficult few years marred by repeated problems during the Covid pandemic. It has been widely criticized for poor or confusing guidance.

Another report published last year found that the main public health agency was too slow in its response to the virus in early 2020.

A new CSIS report calls for a complete rebuild of the CDC so it is better prepared to handle future public health outbreaks like the COVID-19 pandemic (file photo)

Cdc Director Rochelle Walensky Said In August That The Agency Would Be Reorganized To Focus On Prioritizing Public Health Needs And Curbing Outbreaks, And To Place Less Emphasis On Publishing Scientific Papers On Rare Diseases (File Photo)

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in August that the agency would be reorganized to focus on prioritizing public health needs and curbing outbreaks, and to place less emphasis on publishing scientific papers on rare diseases (file photo)

In its report, titled ‘Building the CDC the Country Needs,’ CSIS says agency leaders and the federal government must work together to rebuild from the ground up.

“The big picture here is that we all see the need for an agency restart,” said Julie Gerberding, who served as CDC director from 2002 to 2009 and is now a CSIS staffer. CNN.

“Part of the reset has to be structural, some has to be an activity that only Congress can really manage and that has to do with how the budget is structured, the size and scope of the budget and the flexibilities or lack thereof.”

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She calls for modernizing the agency, improving data systems to better present information to the public and make more accurate projections.

The agency has a budget of $12 billion and employs 11,000 people. While much of it is based in Atlanta, the CDC has a presence throughout the United States.

“I really want to emphasize that while there is substantial opportunity here for evolution, modernization and performance improvement at CDC,” he added.

Another obstacle facing the agency, according to CSIS, is that it is based in Atlanta, more than 500 miles from the nation’s capital.

While communication is simplified in the digital age, experts fear that the CDC’s proximity to the center of the federal government adds unnecessary barriers.

The Washington DC-based think tank says the agency needs to have greater flexibility in the use of its funding, which will allow it to respond more quickly to emerging threats.

He also wants the CDC to do more to retain quality staff. This could mean offering more incentives to attract higher quality staff to work for the agency and then working to retain them.

This is especially important at the highest levels of the CDC, notes CSIS.

Possibly the most difficult solution would be to rebuild the public image of the CDC.

A NBC poll last year found that only 44 percent of Americans, and just one in five Republicans, trusted the agency on Covid.

Many lost trust in the agency due to its support for school closures, allowing mask requests on public transportation to take too long and its slow reaction to changes in the pandemic landscape.

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This is the second major call for a review by America’s top public health agency.

In August, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the agency’s director, told her staff internally that the agency should focus more on public health issues and less on publishing research.

He had assumed his position in early 2021, in the midst of the pandemic.

Experts said the CDC was slow to acknowledge the amount of virus entering the US from Europe, recommend that people wear masks, say the virus can spread through the air and increase routine testing for new variants.

The decision was the result of a review Walensky ordered in April after the CDC faced heavy criticism for its mixed messaging on the covid pandemic.

The agency gave confusing and confusing recommendations on mask use and other mitigation efforts.

Guidance during the pandemic has been “confusing and overwhelming,” according to the CDC briefing paper provided by the agency to the New York Times.

The review also found that the CDC often takes too long to release the data people need to make decisions and that the agency should be more transparent about what it knows and what it doesn’t, a CDC official told the Wall Street Journal.

There were also staff shortages with those charged with leading the CDC covid team rotating after a few months.