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CDC director is frustrated when health decisions are pulled from the “political sphere”

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky speaks with Fox News about her frustration when people are not educated through “political lens”

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The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, expressed how “frustrating” it is when medical decisions are influenced by politics.

When political considerations are factored into decisions about one’s health, it can be frustrating. Walensky spoke with Dr. Marc Siegel of Fox News. “We’ve done everything we can, and I’m still concentrating on steering the ship. What I hold as true is that science is the driving force. Our policies are based on science, and they must, of course, be understood in the context of overall societal health.”

From the start, the CDC struggled to communicate effectively about the virus and ran into opposition from prominent and outspoken lawmakers of both parties.

Walensky concurred with her wish to maintain consistency, veracity, and openness in the face of political pressure and public health emergencies in the future.

“We must exhibit our work. We must educate policymakers. As we move closer to the goal, we must make updates along the route. We require fast, applicable advice that incorporates early data peeks and adjustments as needed.”

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A culture war broke out during COVID-19, with many criticizing the CDC’s attempts to stop the virus’ spread as well as its insistence on vaccine requirements, claiming that such public health policies infringe on people’s rights.

“We learned from and were shown by this pandemic that we must now communicate with the American people. We must communicate what we know as soon as we know it, provide timely information, and keep the public updated. Yes, that does entail disclosing to others what we don’t know as we make decisions.” Walensky acknowledged.

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The efficiency of the immunizations against the virus has also drawn criticism for the CDC.

“We noticed that they were less effective against infection when delta came along. But what I will say is that they continue to demonstrate a lasting benefit in averting serious illness and death, just like omicron “added Walensky. “We are currently in that situation. And of course, information on what will transpire with our new boosters in the fall will be forthcoming.”

Beginning in August, the CDC changed its strategy and loosened its recommendations for COVID-19, saying that masks should not be used unless one tests positive for the virus or resides in an area with a high incidence of COVID-19 infection or hospitalization.

“The message of masks has proven to be difficult. What I will say is that masks, especially higher quality masks, have been shown to work to reduce infection time and time again, as seen by data after data.” said Walensky.

The monkeypox virus made its first appearance in the United States in May, and the CDC started to assess the impact of the new outbreak.

The CDC responded more quickly than it did in the case of COVID-19, publishing information about monkeypox online to help the general public better comprehend the virus.

“One of the things we did with monkeypox was we quickly posted our testing information online since we had those assays available within a week of that first case in Massachusetts,” said the researcher.