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Insiders Bemoan Culture, Data Gaps That Limit CDC in Crises

Internal review surfaces longstanding concerns about US health agency's flexibility, responsiveness

Rochelle Walensky, Director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Rochelle Walensky, Director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Photographer: Lauren Justice/Bloomberg

An internal review by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has uncovered deep concerns among current and former employees and other federal health officials about its urgency, responsiveness and culture, according to interviews with more than half a dozen people involved in the process.

Findings from the review announced last month, some of which could be released in coming weeks, may give CDC Director Rochelle Walensky momentum to usher in change at an agency that’s been criticized by members of Congress, prominent health experts and local public officials for not having the tools and culture needed to respond effectively to a pandemic that’s resulted in one million American deaths.