The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is suffering from a legitimacy crisis.
With that in mind, the CDC is attempting to recuperate its image and attempting to fix some of the perceived issues that plagued it during the pandemic.
In a Wednesday statement, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said, “My goal is a new, public health action-oriented culture at CDC that emphasizes accountability, collaboration, communication, and timeliness.”
So, what are some of those proposed changes to make a new culture at the CDC?
CNN reports that the CDC plans to create a new equity office to increase diversity, as well as demand Congress give the CDC the ability to force local jurisdictions to share their health data.
So, nothing that will actually fix the trust issue.
Throughout the waning COVID-19 pandemic and going into the waxing monkeypox mess, the CDC has repeatedly beclowned itself with contradictory or dangerous policies.
Politics, rather than science, drove most of the health authority’s decisions during the pandemic.
Americans might remember that at the beginning of the pandemic, the CDC recommended against wearing face masks, arguing that they would do little to stop the spread of the virus.
Later, the CDC did an abrupt about-face and mandated everyone wear masks on public transportation. When pushed on why the health authority had seemingly made a 180 on policy, Dr. Anthony Fauci admitted he initially lied to the American public in order to avoid a theoretical rush on protective equipment needed for medical staff.
When it came to school closures, the CDC seemed far more concerned with appeasing the desires of politically motivated teachers unions than the throngs of students who realistically didn’t get an education for two years.
But by far the best example of the blatant politics hypocrisy exhibited by our supposed medical betters at the CDC was the response to the 2020 summer riots.
CDC recommendations to isolate and avoid contact with other human beings were everywhere in the early stages of the pandemic.
Anti-lockdown and mandate protesters were routinely decried by health authorities as selfish grandma killers, and told they needed to stay inside and isolate themselves to avoid infecting others.
Yet when Black Lives Matters protested and rioted all summer long, suddenly those recommendations went out the window.
While the CDC itself never officially condoned the riots, its silence compared with how strongly other public officials condemned the lockdown protests spoke volumes.
Given the multitude of failures from the CDC during the pandemic, you’d think it’d be ready to do better with the next public health issue.
The CDC’s response to monkeypox shoots down that idea quickly.
Already the CDC has allowed politics to infect its response to monkeypox and has refused to acknowledge the reality of who is most at risk for contracting the disease.
While health officials are well aware that 95% to 98% of people infected with monkeypox around the globe are gay men, they refuse to make that knowledge widely known in order to avoid “stigmatizing” the gay community.
The CDC’s website does contain a passing mention that gay men are more at risk for monkeypox then the general population, but the information is buried behind a slew of menus. It is not at all obvious from the way the CDC talks about monkeypox on its site that this disease almost exclusively impacts gay men.
The CDC seems incapable of recognizing just what turned people off to it in the first place. Instead of admitting it allowed politics to blind its response to COVID-19 and is currently in the process of allowing it to color the monkeypox response, the CDC appears to have doubled down.
Foisting diversity and equity onto the health authority doesn’t change the fact that people don’t believe a word of what it says.
I don’t care if a white guy or a black guy is lying to me about my health. A lie is a lie regardless of the skin tone of the liar.
The CDC, which stepped outside its purview multiple times, including enacting constitutionally dubious eviction moratoria, is additionally demanding more power to compel state governments to tag along in its madness?
The CDC is right on one thing and one thing only, the American people don’t trust it anymore. Walensky, the CDC director, and her ilk are right that they desperately need to regain the public’s confidence.
But thus far, the solutions seem primed to exacerbate that disconnect between the CDC and average Americans.
Instead of injecting more politics into the equation, the CDC needs to get those politics that ruined the COVID-19 response out. Americans don’t trust their health authorities because they’ve been given ample reasons not to trust them.
Politics in medicine is the disease, more politics isn’t the cure.