CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky Tests Positive for COVID
Dr. Rochelle Wallenski, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and former Massachusetts General Hospital physician, tested positive for the coronavirus on Friday night, officials said.
The CDC director, who was appointed by then-president-elect Joe Biden in 2020, has been vaccinated and is experiencing mild symptoms, according to a statement from the Federal Public Health Service.
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“In accordance with CDC guidelines, she is isolating at home and will attend a planned meeting virtually,” the statement said. have been informed that he has tested positive and are taking appropriate steps to monitor his health.”
Warrenski, who is also the Administrator of the Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, served as Chief of the Massachusetts Division of Infectious Diseases from 2017 to 2020, worked on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic from 2012 to 2020, and worked on vaccine development. We conducted research on provision and strategies for reaching underserved communities.
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She began her medical career at the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and is an influential academic whose research has helped advance national and international responses to the public health crisis. Wallenski is also an acclaimed expert on the value of testing and treating deadly viruses.
In January 2021, Walensky became director of the CDC, an Atlanta, Georgia-based agency with a budget of over $12 billion and more than 11,000 employees. With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to rage across the United States and the monkeypox virus slowly taking hold in the country, this position was no easy task.
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The CDC was criticized for its slow response to various public health threats, including COVID-19 and monkeypox, before and during Wallenski’s tenure as head of the large federal agency.
Citing the organization’s recent missteps, Walensky announced reforms in August that included changes to staffing the CDC and how agencies release data.
“I feel it’s my responsibility to lead this agency to a better place after three really difficult years,” Wallenski told the Associated Press at the time.