29 August 2022 Blog Post: Major Changes in CDC Announced, Part 1 of 2

Last week, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, CDC director announced “major changes” at the agency, admitting that the storied institution has failed in its response to COVID-19 and monkeypox. She announced the changes to the CDC in a video to its 11 000 staff, most of whom are still working remotely, after commissioning a review of its pandemic response in April. 

To me, the remainder of the article is really immaterial (although I will cover it in a subsequent blog) because – stop – the CDC is still working remotely?

In fact, yes, the vast majority of the CDC continues to work remotely. As of the end of June 2020 – 5,440 workers remain fully remote, 4,467 spend at least some time working remotely, and just 2,772 workers report to work in-person.

Continuing to work exclusively from home shows either a blatant disregard or a fundamental misunderstanding of COVID risks and sets a terrible example for American workers, students and children who have resumed in person employment and learning. There are multiple layers of risk mitigation that can be performed from deploying HEPA filters, to routine testing, to strict isolation protocols when becoming ill and staggered work schedules all of which can protect an in-person workforce.

The fact that the CDC continues to work remotely, additionally, stands in stark contrast to their own recommendations. No longer do they emphasize screening nor social distancing. The quarantine rule for unvaccinated individuals is also gone. So if the agency is seeking to protect the highly vulnerable population, while simultaneously not requiring those of low or average risk to not be inconvenienced in any way shape or form to protect others, why is the CDC all still at home?

“The current conditions of this pandemic are very different from those of the last two years,” CDC epidemiologist Greta Massetti said Thursday in a briefing for reporters.  We also have a better understanding of how to protect people from being exposed to the virus, like wearing high-quality masks, testing, and improved ventilation.  This guidance acknowledges that the pandemic is not over, but also helps us move to a point where COVID-19 no longer severely disrupts our daily lives.”

Comments made, not at an in-person press conference, but via telebriefing. Most likely, from home.

𝗦𝗶𝗴𝗻 𝗨𝗽 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗢𝘂𝗿 𝗡𝗲𝘄𝘀𝗹𝗲𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗿

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