CDC director to step down June 30

CDC chief Rochelle Walensky RESIGNS after just two years in job after being slammed for agency’s handling of Covid

  • The director was in her post for two years and will step down at the end of June 

Dr Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), will step down from her post next month.

She submitted her resignation on Friday, a shocking move that may leave the Biden administration without a full-time leader atop one of the nation’s most important health agencies.

Dr Walensky’s reign over the CDC was marred by criticism over the agency’s handling of the pandemic. Some have blamed confusing and poorly informed decision-making during Covid for a rise in misinformation.

Her exit comes as the World Health Organization has declared the end of the Covid global health emergency and remaining pandemic measures in the US are set to end next week, signaling a transition for public health agency’s around the world.

CDC Director Dr Rochelle Walensky (pictured) will step down from her position on June 30 after a tumultuous tenure atop the agency

Dr Walensky sent a resignation letter to President Joe Biden and announced the decision at a CDC staff meeting today.

The 54-year-old has been the agency’s director since January 2021, appointed by President Biden at the start of his administration. 

In her letter to Biden, she expressed ‘mixed feelings’ about the decision and didn’t say exactly why she was stepping down.

However, she noted that the nation is at a moment of transition as emergency declarations come to an end.

‘I have never been prouder of anything I have done in my professional career,’ she wrote.

Her time leading the organization was fraught with controversy.

In January, the Center for Strategic & International Studies, called for a widespread overhaul of the agency, citing severe deficiencies in the way it operated.

Authors called for a ‘reset’ or the agency and to reprioritize how it spent its annual budget of $12billion and 11,000 employees.

Dr Walensky herself made around $200,000 per year in her position as CDC director. But, her role also allows her to earn speaking and consulting fees for organizations across the US.

Throughout the pandemic, the agency’s priorities and decision-making caused confusion and backlash among the population.

The agency advised schools to close early in the pandemic, a decision some have linked to lower test scores and mental health issues among young people.

It also firmly grasped onto mask mandates for public transportation for much longer than many saw necessary.

Americans were required to wear masks on public transportation such as planes and trains until April 2022, when a federal court struck down the rules.