According to several administration officials, the root of the problem is the failure of the C.D.C. and the Biden administration’s messaging experts to work in concert. This is up for debate. Dr. Walensky’s critics say she is not collaborative enough, too often springing decisions on other federal officials who then struggle to defend them in public. Her defenders insist that she is trying to coordinate but that it’s not her job to ensure consensus throughout the entire administration.
Some suggest the White House has gone too far in its hands-off, let-the-scientists-rule approach, leaving a vacuum of leadership and forcing ad-hoc coordination between the various public health agencies. Xavier Becerra (health secretary), who receives routine briefings and does not settle interagency disputes over the pandemic response, has made this situation worse.
Dr. Fauci, the administration’s best-known spokesman on the pandemic, has further muddied the waters at times, publicly contradicting the C.D.C. Like he did this past week or making statements that he later regretted.
In December, he stated that domestic airline passengers should have a vaccination requirement. The White House was left to answer a flood of questions about a policy they were not ready to recommend. He said later that a mandate was unlikely.
Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, stated Wednesday that it was okay for the C.D.C. to modify its guidance. to modify its guidance, adding that, for one thing, “if they hadn’t changed their recommendations over the course of time, schools would probably be closed across the country.”
But even some within Dr. Walensky’s own agency agree that the C.D.C.’s public pronouncements on the pandemic have repeatedly fallen short, long after experts say the agency should have mastered clear and concise public messaging on the worst public health crisis in a century.
The handling of the isolation guidance was a prime example of how to confuse the public. And the controversy is not over: health experts continued on Wednesday to criticize the C.D.C.’s decision not to recommend a negative test before people with Covid end a five-day isolation.
Source: NY Times