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


Last fall, as teachers and public-health specialists in the United States puzzled over easy methods to make all colleges secure for full-time, in-person studying, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was advising everybody to put on masks and stay six ft aside always.

But most colleges couldn’t preserve that type of distance and nonetheless accommodate all their college students and academics. The C.D.C’s steering additionally left many questions unanswered: How did masks and distancing and different methods like opening home windows match collectively? Which have been important? Could some measures be skipped if others have been adopted faithfully?

The C.D.C. appeared incapable of answering these questions. From the pandemic’s earliest days, the company had been topic to extreme politicization, and its advisories on mask-wearing, quarantine and air flow had been complicated, inconsistent and sometimes unsuitable. While the company has made clear enhancements beneath the Biden administration and a new director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, its messaging remains to be deeply muddy and communities throughout the nation — and faculty districts, particularly — are nonetheless battling subsequent steps.

As the remainder of the nation is studying, the former president was not the C.D.C.’s solely — and even its greatest — downside.



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