Tue. Jun 22nd, 2021
The C.D.C.’s New Leader Follows the Science. Is That Enough?


“I’m going to pause right here, I’m going to get rid of the script and I’m going to reflect on the recurring feeling I have of impending doom,” she mentioned, her eyes glistening with tears. “We have so considerably to seem forward to, so considerably guarantee and prospective of wherever we are and so considerably explanation for hope. But proper now I’m frightened.”

Her impassioned speech startled several men and women, possibly none additional than her husband. “She’s not a crier — if something, I get choked up considerably additional conveniently than she does,” he mentioned. Her openness signaled her “genuine anguish” about the state of the pandemic, he additional. “She deeply felt the fat of a half a million dead.”

The day of her urgent plea, she appeared on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Display,” wherever she mentioned vaccinated men and women “do not carry the virus” — an overly optimistic statement that the C.D.C. had to stroll back. Later on that week, new advice from the company mentioned that vaccinated men and women could securely travel, but Dr. Walensky additional that the company did not in fact want them to travel at all, a stance that left some Americans perplexed.

The most latest instance, when Dr. Walensky announced that vaccinated men and women could go mask-absolutely free indoors, was supported by the hottest study, scientists mentioned. But several felt the company had rushed the determination to finish mask use with out contemplating components of the nation wherever infections had been nevertheless substantial, and with out grasping the mistrust and culture clashes the new guidance would engender.

“C.D.C. received the healthcare and epidemiological science proper, but what they did not get proper was the behavioral science, the communications and operating collaboratively with other stakeholders,” Dr. Gounder mentioned. “That was a significant oversight.”

Information due to the fact the announcement appear to have proved Dr. Walensky proper: Infections are nevertheless declining, even as considerably of the nation reopens at a vigorous speed. And as promised, the company has set about issuing additional sensible masking advice with regards to settings like summertime camps (largely no) and public transportation (yes).

Dr. Walensky and the C.D.C. declined to comment on how the mask suggestions had been dealt with. But Dr. Fauci mentioned that he believed some tiny missteps had been inevitable, and that Dr. Walensky was a rapid research.

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