Home Health news CDC is not fit for purpose, has lost the public’s trust and needs a complete overhaul

CDC is not fit for purpose, has lost the public’s trust and needs a complete overhaul

by
0 comment
CDC is not fit for purpose, has lost the public’s trust and needs a complete overhaul

Public health leaders call for an agency-wide overhaul of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in a new scathing indictment of how it operates. 

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

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

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

A new report by CSIS is calling for a full rebuilding of the CDC so it is better prepared to handle future public health outbreaks such as the COVID-19 pandemic (file photo)

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

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

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

‘The big picture here is, we all see the need for a reset of the agency,’ Julie Gerberding, who served at the CDC’s director from 2002 to 2009 and now a CSIS member, told CNN.

‘Some of the reset has to be structural, some of it needs to be 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.’

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

The agency has a budget of $12billion, and employs 11,000 people. While a large portion is based in Atlanta, the CDC has a presence across America. 

‘I do really want to emphasize that while there is substantial opportunity here for evolution, modernization and performance improvement at the CDC,’ she added.

Another hindrance the agency faces, 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 the proximity of CDC from the federal government hub adds unnecessary barriers. 

The Washington DC-based thinktank says the agency needs to have better flexibility in using its funding – which will allow it to respond faster to emerging threats.

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

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

Possibly the hardest fix would be to rebuild the CDC’s public image.

An 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 because of its support for school closures, letting mask orders on public transportation last too long, and for its slow reaction to changes in the pandemic landscape.

This is the second major call for an overhaul of America’s leading public health agency.

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

Experts said the CDC was slow to recognize how much virus was entering the US from Europe, to recommend people wear masks, to say the virus can spread through the air, and to ramp up systematic testing for new variants.

The decision as 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 muddled and confusing recommendations on masking and other mitigation efforts.

The public guidance to the pandemic has been ‘confusing and overwhelming,’ according to the CDC briefing document provided by the agency to the New York Times.

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

There were staff shortages too with those tasked with leading the CDC’s covid team rotating out after a few months.

Source link

You may also like

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

©2022 – All Right Reserved. Designed by Martyn.

Verified by MonsterInsights