CDC’s Walensky is the wrong media messenger on COVID-19 – .

CDC’s Walensky is the wrong media messenger on COVID-19 – .

Friday’s exchange between Fox News Channel presenter Bret Baier and the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Rochelle WalenskyRochelle WalenskyAmerican vaccinations rise as delta variant spreads Public health expert: “Biden absolutely declared victory too soon” Delta variant raises fears of worsening mutations MORE perfectly summed up the obviously poor communications from the federal government on the COVID-19 virus.
“Are you in favor of imposing a vaccine at the federal level? Baier asked.

“You know, this is something that I think the administration is looking into. This is something that I think we are looking to get vaccine approval for, ”Walensky replied.

“Overall, I think in general I am for more vaccination. But, you know, I have nothing more to say about it except that we are looking at these policies, ”she added.

The response quickly caught fire on social media, prompting Walensky to respond directly to a CNBC reporter who noted – in an ALL-CAPS tweet – the revelation regarding compulsory vaccinations at the federal level:

Portions of the federal government? That’s quite a difference from Walensky’s original response, which has been seen by infinitely more people than his clarification on Twitter.

It’s no wonder that confidence in the CDC has plummeted since it was elevated last year in the early months of the pandemic. A recent NPR poll shows that barely half of Americans have great faith in the CDC. A May WebMD-Medscape poll gets even worse, with 77% saying their confidence in the CDC has waned since the start of the pandemic. It is difficult to see how this number is not even higher at the dawn of August.

To be fair, Walensky isn’t the only one to blame for all of this; the problem started during the Trump administration. But Walensky’s thongs have become all too common. Just two months ago, she started “The Rachel MaddowRachel Anne MaddowBudowsky: How Biden Can Beat COVID-19 For Good Democratic Group Launches Seven-Digit Ad Campaign On Voting Rights Bill GOP Attacks On Fauci At Center Of Pandemic Message MORE Spectacle » to declare that vaccinated people no longer have to wear masks. And, yes, cases of the delta variant had been on record for quite some time before this statement was made.

“Forgive me for speaking in impersonal terms and I don’t want to be too blunt about this, but are you sure?” Maddow asked Walensky to drop the mask warrants on May 13. “Because it looks like a really big change. “

“We’re sure,” Walensky replied. “There’s an extraordinary amount of evidence now that shows that vaccines work in the real world, in cohort studies, in healthcare settings, in – in every state, that these vaccines work the way they worked in trials. clinics. Importantly, there is also new data, even in the last two weeks, that shows that these vaccines work – against the variants that we have in circulation here in the United States, and also data has emerged that has shown that if you are vaccinated, you are less likely, unlikely, to shed the virus asymptomatically and give it more. ”

This account of which Walensky was so sure then has now, of course, been completely overturned. The masks are back. The breakthrough cases are mainly motivated by the delta variant. People vaccinated with COVID can shed the virus at the same rate as unvaccinated people, according to Walensky’s CDC.

As might be expected, there have been conflicting reactions to the CDC’s new mandate on masks, with the American Medical Association agreeing and former US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb insisting. on the fact that it is too wide.

“I trust the experts at the CDC to keep up with the science, but the ‘C’ clearly doesn’t mean COMMUNICATIONS! »Tweeted David AxelrodDavid Axelrod unwritten remarks begin to haunt President Biden, former senior adviser to President Obama. “Too little has been done to foreshadow and explain the changing directives required by varying conditions,”

In the future, the CDC must walk the mound of figurative media, send Walensky back to the bench and replace her with a competent, professional and disciplined spokesperson. The one who understands that words have consequences. The one who understands the economy of words. An audience that the public can trust.

Because failing to do so will only increase public distrust, more anger and more confusion as to how best to beat this virus, once and for all.

Joe Concha is a media and political columnist for The Hill and a contributor to Fox News.


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