For anyone who’s paid attention to the CDC’s bungling, inept guidance over the past two years, it’s become clear that the organization was broken beyond repair.
Now though, the head of the country’s leading public health agency, Rochelle Walensky, has admitted her organization botched the pandemic response and needs to be overhauled.
A new report from The New York Times details that a briefing within the CDC acknowledged that “The public guidance has been ‘confusing and overwhelming.'”
From early failings on testing, the world-changing flip flop on masking (despite the complete lack of evidence), to damaging school guidance devised in conjunction with teacher’s unions, the CDC has been a disaster since the pandemic broke out.
The organization has been so overwhelmed with politically motivated decision making that many top employees have left the broken institution.
The CDC caused incalculable damage to trust in public health and continues to enforce bans on unvaccinated people entering the country despite finally changing guidance:
The agency’s incompetence also delayed data releases:
“And important data were sometimes inexplicably released too late to inform federal decisions, including some data on breakthrough infections that could have influenced a recommendation on whether to authorize a round of booster shots.”
Given the poor track record on data collection and research, it might be best if there were no recommendations.
The CDC is going to focus on clearer, easily understandable guidance:
“And the C.D.C. is working on improving its public messaging. Dr. Walensky, who has already shaken up the agency’s communications division, wants to make sure guidance is issued in ‘plain language, easy to understand,’ the document said.”
What Does This Mean?
While trying to focus on clarity and messaging is all well and good, the most important issue isn’t just how information is delivered, but instead what information is being delivered.
The CDC still maintains the disproven fiction that masks work. It also won’t admit that lockdowns were a mistake, or that kids are at remarkably low risk from the virus.
Walensky and others claimed vaccines would eliminate the risk of individual infection or onward spread and end to the pandemic.
Somehow, they continue to maintain their nonsensical “transmission” zone map, which encourages local politicians and administrators to maintain restrictions whenever they reach the “high” level.
There will never be an end to the pandemic until the CDC’s influence is sidelined and the administrators like Walensky admit wrongdoing in their recommendations, not just in communication style.
She’s right that the agency botched its handling of major issues, but it did it in so many ways that she never touches on.
Walensky claims part of the problem was that they were “slow” to react to the pandemic. While that might be true, it’s only part of the problem.
Being “slow” to react is less of a problem than being slow AND wrong. They were both.
And two and a half years into the pandemic, they won’t acknowledge that nothing they did actually worked.
Until that happens, any changes are window dressing covering up the real problems facing the CDC.