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CDC director calls for ‘reset’ of agency amid criticism of Covid response

Shake-up intended to make agency more nimble as Dr Rochelle Walensky says it has to move faster and communicate better

The head of the top US public health agency on Wednesday announced a shake-up of the organization, intended to make it more nimble.

The planned changes at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – CDC leaders call it a “reset”– come amid ongoing criticism of the agency’s response to Covi-19, monkeypox and other public health threats. The changes include internal staffing moves and steps to speed up data releases.

Increasing use of preprint scientific reports to get out actionable data, instead of waiting for research to go through peer review and publication by the CDC journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Restructuring the agency’s communications office and further revamping CDC websites to make the agency’s guidance for the public more clear and easier to find.

Altering the length of time agency leaders are devoted to outbreak responses to a minimum of six months – an effort to address a turnover problem that at times caused knowledge gaps and affected the agency’s communications.

Creation of a new executive council to help Walensky set strategy and priorities.

Appointing Mary Wakefield as senior counselor to implement the changes. Wakefield headed the Health Resources and Services Administration during the Obama administration and also served as the No 2 administrator at HHS. Wakefield, 68, started Monday.

Altering the agency’s organization chart to undo some changes made during the Trump administration.

Establishing an office of intergovernmental affairs to smooth partnerships with other agencies, as well as a higher-level office on health equity.

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Read the original article at The Guardian

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