Home / Health / The Mask controversy prompted the CDC to review its response to the outbreak.

The Mask controversy prompted the CDC to review its response to the outbreak.



The loss of two old CDC leaders, combined with Walensky’s reform of the Covid-19 response, strengthened the power of the CDC chief, giving her control over some of the most important policy conversations involved in the outbreak. Of disease The change you made It also underscores her agency’s independence from the White House, as reported by POLITICO. Several senior White House officials, including some in the White House. Agency Covid-19 It said the CDC did not warn them until the morning of the announcement that people who got the vaccine could abandon their masks in most situations.

Another senior executive with direct knowledge of the situation said Walensky had limited news about the upcoming changes to a small group of CDCs. Officials to give agencies better control over messaging and not briefing local and state health officials and public policy groups across the country.

Walensky decided to overhaul the agency̵

7;s Covid-19 response structure after several listening tours within the CDC revealed that the epidemic forces no longer served their original mission or could be agile under a central leadership structure, senior health officials with. As the number of new infections declines, the CDC’s focus has shifted to offering advice aimed at helping Americans return to normalcy, such as telling vaccinated people they can abandon them. A mask can be used in most situations.

Biden’s senior health official described the switch at the CDC as “a long time ago.”

“When Biden took office, there was an early dialogue of how the CDC would be managed… who would lead and what would need to be done to get back on track,” said a senior health worker. It is a top job and is in high demand. But I think it’s fair to say there have been hiccups in the past few months that have put tension on the agency. And I think we’re starting to see CDC directors moving to change things up. ”

In a statement, CDC spokesman Jason McDonald said the agency “reorganized incident management to optimize each phase of the country’s COVID-19 response.” Another senior CDC official said Walensky “was informed of the change. But it is not directly related to the decision ”regarding the restructuring within the agency.

The first hint that a major reorganization was underway in late April when Messonnier, head of the Covid-19 vaccine agency, resigned at the time, CDC officials described it as an unplanned vacation behind Walensky. Decided that the vaccine agency should be fully placed under the supervision of the agency’s senior leader, rather than reporting both to the CDC, Brass and the White House, three senior health officials said.

Messonnier, running semi-autonomous, was told the vaccine agency would report to the CDC’s incident response team supervised by Henry Walke, the agency’s director of the readiness and Emerging Infections Division, who further reported. Walensky two weeks later Messonnier resigned thereafter. About 20 Years at the agency It marks the first departure from the CDC during the peak of the outbreak, despite months of pressures and attacks that the agency suffered from the Trump administration.

While Messonnier announced her resignation, several CDC officials said the vaccine was The agency has been reformulated as the launch of the vaccine goes smoothly and the group’s mission is changing. Placing a group under the incident response team is a positive sign CDC Authorities said, because it means there is less need for comprehensive vaccine supervision. The vaccine authorities have overseen the distribution, administration and execution.

Walensky recently assigned employees of the agency, who was previously part of the Department of Health and Human Services inter-unit Covid-19, a recently retired “coordination cell”. Some of these officers have returned to their regular CDC jobs full-time or work in the CDC’s armed forces.

Growing Criticism of Vaccination Guidelines

With all these changes, the agency is writing and writing new guidelines on safety regulations for people who are vaccinated.

The CDC drafted its first recommendation in early March. After two days of meetings and phone calls with senior officials in the White House’s Covid-19 and HHS unit, the CDC was ordered to “Curb release” as previously reported by POLITICO. A senior White House official denied any intervention and said the CDC only needed time to read the officials, not change the course of action.

The agency finally released guidelines on March 8 – advising people who have been vaccinated that they They can be gathered without a mask or 6 feet apart, the instructions also say that vaccinated people can gather in the home without a mask. With people who have not been vaccinated from other households Then, on April 2, the CDC said Americans who were fully vaccinated could return to travel domestically and internationally as long as they masked in public.

Three weeks later, the agency released a big update: vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks indoors or out when in small groups with friends and family who are fully vaccinated. Model and in some situations may be maskless to unvaccinated people.

The approach has been widely criticized. People in the Biden administration complained that the CDC’s language was confused.Republicans on Capitol Hill and across the country argued the agency was too cautious and regulated in ways that limit the activities of those who had. Get vaccinated

CDC officials have long argued that vaccine guidelines only evolve as science becomes available and supports change. But a senior administration official with knowledge of the situation said officials at the CDC, the White House and the HHS often disagree to loosen restrictions on individuals receiving the vaccine.

At the end of March and early April, officials at the CDC argue that science does not support reversing things like masks, especially since the guidelines may signal that it is safe for all Americans to abandon measures. Public Health Other top officials argued the country had given enough vaccinations to people that it was safe for them to choose to visit with fully vaccinated Americans.

Leadership change

Walensky decided Walke was responsible for the next phase of vaccination guidelines, just days before Messonnier’s official resignation on May 13, a week after Messonnier formally resigned, the CDC said people who had been vaccinated. The masks can be removed in bundles, no matter big or small, indoors or outdoors, no matter who is.

The decision was a significant change in the tone for health authorities, which for months the reversal of public health measures even for those receiving the vaccine. CDC officials fear a faster movement will spur the spread of a new, highly transmitted strain of COVID-19 that would reverse the country’s progress in ending the epidemic.

“My feeling is that there is more and more real-world information popping up that guides the CDC in making decisions, especially in these latest approaches,” said John Moore, virologist and professor of microbiology. And Immunology, Weill Cornell Medicine said. “There will be some confusion in the weeks to come. Everyone has to develop their own comfort zone with advice. “

Health officials and experts across the country announced the new CDC guidance, saying the agency’s advice would be difficult for state and local officials to implement and enforce.

“I expect the CDC to advise local and state health authorities that when your vaccination coverage is at this level, when your case is at this level… that’s when you can introduce the requirements for vaccination. Lift the mask for people who can get vaccinated, ”said Celine Gounder, an infectious disease specialist at New York University and former” immunizations “. Advisor to Biden’s Covid-19 Advisory Board, “That’s not what happened in this case.”

A senior health worker working on vaccines said the agency had no ability or no way to formulate local public health guidelines and it was up to local officials to come up with guidelines to guide their communities.

“The CDC can’t win. They will first be told that they are too cautious, too careful with wearing masks and traveling, ”a senior HHS official told POLITICO. He was targeted too quickly. I mean what is it? I think what’s clear is that there is a much clearer process for these things now. “


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