Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky, M.D. announced her resignation, effective June 30, in a press release.
Walensky announced her departure after House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) sent a subpoena and letter requiring the CDC to provide his committee with communications between the agency and private companies and third-party groups.
“The Twitter Files and other public reporting have exposed how the federal government has pressured and colluded with Big Tech and other intermediaries to censor certain viewpoints on social and other media in ways that undermine First Amendment principles,” wrote Jordan, in the cover letter to the subpoena. “It is necessary for Congress to gauge the extent to which the CDC coerced, pressured, worked with, or relied upon social media and other tech companies in order to censor speech.”
‘Made COVID a Crisis’
During her three-year tenure, Walensky became the face of the Biden administration’s response to COVID-19 and was widely criticized.
In the case of the COVID shots, Walensky stated in early 2021 that “vaccinated people do not carry the virus, don’t get sick”—a claim that was quickly walked back by a CDC spokesperson who admitted vaccinated persons could be infected and transmit the disease. Likewise, Walensky’s mask guidance came under scrutiny when the mask mandate was lifted for vaccinated persons, a day after she testified to Congress that masks were necessary.
Walensky’s CDC repeatedly exceeded its authority in its response to COVID-19, says Linda Gorman, director of the Health Care Policy Center at the Independence Institute.
“The government made COVID a crisis by forgetting that it was bound by law,” said Gorman. “It closed businesses due to a virus infection that was about as lethal as the standard flu. When people lost their jobs and stopped paying rent, it arrogated to itself the power to tell landlords they couldn’t evict people who were using their property without paying. No one who thinks that these kinds of measures are constitutional should be allowed anywhere near public office.”
‘Kids Were Locked at Home’
Under Walensky, the CDC gave an unusual level of access to special interest groups, including big pharma, the teachers’ unions, and woke ideologues in their rulemaking.
The American Federation of Teachers played a major role in drafting school reopening guidelines, whereas Walensky appears to have met with parental representatives only once for a 30-minute session.
Allowing teachers’ unions to dictate school closures under the guise of health guidance was unacceptable, says Matthew Dean, senior fellow for health care policy outreach at The Heartland Institute.
“After teachers got used to remote learning, they didn’t want to go back to school, and they wanted a permission slip from the new president’s CDC to zoom it in from home,” said Dean. “This is the part where Walensky was supposed to say, ‘It’s our job to tell you what the science says, not the other way around; I’ll quit before I let the CDC get turned into a political press shop!’ But that’s not what happened. Instead, the permission slip was signed. Kids were locked at home, where they fell further behind and became more isolated, mentally ill, and chemically dependent. Their risk from COVID was always small.”
CDC Undermines Its Credibility
Gorman says Walensky undermined the scientific credibility of the CDC.
“Another thing that CDC did under Walensky’s tenure was destroying its reputation as an impartial assessor of existing scientific knowledge,” said Gorman. “Anyone with a modicum of scholarly knowledge observing CDC COVID communications and data production will be careful about taking any CDC data at face value.”
The CDC now gives unscientific guidance in the service of woke progressivism, says Gorman.
“Its definitions of health equity and disparities are embarrassingly ignorant,” said Gorman. “They fail to take into account that people are independent actors and that differences in health outcomes are often caused by the patients themselves.”
Jordan gave Walensky a May 22 deadline to respond to his subpoena, but the CDC had not complied as of press time.
Kevin Stone (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes from Arlington, Texas.