From the Times Magazine: Can the C.D.C. be fixed?


Last fall, as academics and public-health experts in the United States puzzled over how to make all schools safe for full-time, in-person learning, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was advising everyone to wear masks and remain six feet apart at all times.

But most schools could not maintain that kind of distance and still accommodate all their students and teachers. The C.D.C’s guidance also left many questions unanswered: How did masks and distancing and other strategies like opening windows fit together? Which were essential? Could some measures be skipped if others were followed faithfully?

The C.D.C. seemed incapable of answering these questions. From the pandemic’s earliest days, the agency had been subject to extreme politicization, and its advisories on mask-wearing, quarantine and ventilation had been confusing, inconsistent and occasionally wrong. While the agency has made clear improvements under the Biden administration and a new director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, its messaging is still deeply muddy and communities across the country — and school districts, especially — are still struggling with next steps.

As the rest of the nation is learning, the former president was not the C.D.C.’s only — or even its biggest — problem.

Source : Nytimes