Burr: “Cultural and structural changes are necessary to ensure the CDC is better able to respond to the next public health threat.”
Today, Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released a new policy brief highlighting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) challenges and missteps during the coronavirus pandemic and key recommendations for reforms.
The brief, titled “Modernizing CDC: Ensuring a Strategic Approach and Improving Accountability,” is the first in a series of policy briefs examining and offering recommendations on the federal government’s pandemic preparedness, response, and recovery efforts.
“As America turns the corner in the fight against COVID-19, now is the time to evaluate our pandemic response and learn what worked, what didn’t, and how we can improve the current framework,” said Senator Burr. “One of the most obvious lessons we’ve learned is Americans need to be able to trust the guidance issued by public health officials will be clear, consistent, and follow the best available science. Throughout the pandemic, the CDC failed to meet the mark. Its guidance and public statements have been contradictory, confused, and often lagged behind the latest science. The public’s trust in the CDC’s ability to fulfill its core mission has been threatened by a series of missteps.
“The CDC has also struggled to fully leverage new technologies and public-private partnerships, creating delays when we could least afford them. Early in the pandemic, problems with the CDC-developed COVID-19 test led to an unacceptable shortage of reliable tests at a critical moment.
“The CDC must be able to keep pace with the rapid developments, using the latest technology to advance the public health. This report outlines the cultural and structural changes necessary to ensure the CDC is better able to respond to the next public health threat. It recommends strong, accountable leadership, strategic planning to make sure the agency’s programs are supporting its priorities, and the development of effective public-private partnerships.”
The policy brief, “Modernizing CDC: Ensuring a Strategic Approach and Improving Accountability,” includes the following recommendations:
To read the full policy brief, click here.