Friday, CDC director Rochelle Walensky resigned, saying that now that the COVID-19 epidemic is winding down, it is a good time to start a shift of power.
As a result of the World Health Organization’s decision to downgrade the coronavirus from a worldwide emergency on Friday, Walensky has resigned from her position.
President Joe Biden delivered a statement when Walensky announced her resignation.
“Dr. Walensky has saved lives with her steadfast and unwavering focus on the health of every American. As Director of the CDC, she led a complex organization on the frontlines of a once-in-a-generation pandemic with honesty and integrity,” Biden said. “She marshalled our finest scientists and public health experts to turn the tide on the urgent crises we’ve faced.”
“Dr. Walensky leaves CDC a stronger institution, better positioned to confront health threats and protect Americans. We have all benefited from her service and dedication to public health, and I wish her the best in her next chapter,” the president continued.
Walensky, who is 54 years old, led the CDC for just over a year. She’ll be leaving on the 30th of June. She resigned by letter to Biden, but the position of temporary director has not yet been filled.
#BREAKING: Rochelle Walensky, director of the @CDCgov, resigned from her position on Friday, citing the waning of the COVID-19 pandemic as a good opportunity to begin a transition of power.https://t.co/KDu9IrC3tt
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) May 5, 2023
In the letter, she expressed “mixed feelings” about the decision and didn’t say exactly why she was stepping down. However, she said the United States is in a state of transition as the emergency declarations come to an end. Biden said he will not be renewing the public health emergency, which is set to expire on May 11, and he ended the COVID-19 national emergency on April 10.
“I have never been prouder of anything I have done in my professional career,” Walensky wrote in the letter, according to the Associated Press.
Walensky served as an infectious disease specialist at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. She had no experience running a governmental health agency until being sworn in as the CDC’s director in 2021.
Her time in office during the epidemic was fraught with challenges. In the spring of 2021, Walensky said that persons who had been properly immunized might cease wearing masks in numerous public places, but he later changed his mind when the new delta variety swept over the country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) surprised many people in December 2021 by releasing new recommendations that drastically reduced mandatory isolation and quarantine periods.