WASHINGTON — Dr. Rochelle Walensky is stepping down as director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), President Biden said in a statement Friday. The CDC said he will leave the agency at the end of June.
Walensky has overseen the agency responsible for much of the response to the Covid-19 pandemic since the first days of the Biden administration in 2021. He left for the United States Cancellation of public health and emergency declarations Regarding the epidemic, and the World Health Organization on the same day announced the end From COVID-19 to a global health emergency.
“Dr. Walensky saved the lives of every American with his steadfast and unwavering focus on health,” Mr. Biden said in a statement. “As director of the CDC, he led a complex organization on the front lines of a generational pandemic with integrity and honesty. He marshaled our best scientists and public health experts to meet our urgent crisis head-on. Dr. Walensky leaves the CDC a strong institution, a health threat. is better positioned to respond and protect Americans. We have all benefited from his service and dedication to public health, and I wish him well in his next chapter.”
It’s unclear what Walensky, 54, will do next or who the president will name to replace him. Prior to becoming CDC director, Walensky was chief of infectious diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital and a professor at Harvard Medical School.
“The end of the COVID-19 public health emergency marks an extraordinary transition for our country, for public health, and for my tenure as CDC director,” Walensky wrote in a letter to the president published by the CDC. “I take on this role, at your request, with the goal of moving CDC — and public health — forward to a better and more trusted place, leaving behind the dark days of the pandemic.”
Walensky has been a strong proponent of COVID-19 vaccines and masking, a position that earned him some criticism from conservatives. He later took pushback from some progressives to loosen the mask and test the guidelines.
Last summer, Walensky announced CDC is a jerk, said it fell short of responding to the virus and needed to be smarter. The changes include staffing moves and efforts to speed up data release.
“Frankly, we’ve been responsible for some pretty dramatic, pretty public mistakes, from testing, to data, to communications,” Walensky said in August 2022. The result of this mistake.”
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