8.16.2023 | STAT First Opinion
The nation’s health faces a dual threat — one anticipated, the other, self-inflicted.
Covid-19 has not gone away; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that infections are showing signs of a late summer wave. The new strain, EG.5, spreads easily and is more resistant to neutralizing antibodies but does not, to date, seem to be more virulent.
The second threat does not take the form of a new pathogen. Rather it’s an attack on the CDC itself. Budget cuts imposed by the July debt ceiling negotiations will cripple this flawed but vital agency. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the CDC faces a 10% budget reduction equaling $1.5 billion in cuts.
According to a posting on the CDC website, the reorganization plan for the already struggling agency began on Aug. 14 with shifts in staffing. That will be followed by administration shifts on Oct. 1. The plan began under the administration of Rochelle Walensky and will continue under the new CDC director, Mandy Cohen. Cohen comes to the directorship from her position as executive vice president of the venture capital-backed startup Aledade Care Solutions, an accountable care organization for primary care doctors.
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