CDC Director to Step Down as Covid Emergencies End

May 5, 2023

Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Friday she would resign from her position as Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Walensky said her last day would be June 30, noting that the waning of the Covid-19 pandemic influenced her timing. 

Walensky submitted a letter of resignation to President Biden and announced her decision at a CDC staff meeting on the same day that the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that Covid-19 was no longer a global health emergency.

That declaration comes six days before the May 11 deadline set by the Biden Administration to end the U.S. public health emergency for Covid-19. The U.S. Covid national emergency has already ended early, on April 10.

“I have never been prouder of anything I have done in my professional career,” Walensky’s resignation letter said.

Before taking on the leadership of the CDC’s annual budget of $12 billion and 12,000 employees, Walensky was an infectious-diseases specialist at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. Before joining the CDC she had been a prominent commenter on the Covid pandemic—sometimes criticizing how the government was tackling the situation.

The WHO declared Covid-19 a global pandemic on January 30, 2020.

According to the CDC, as of the first week of May there were 77,000 new cases of Covid in the United States. Since the outbreak there have been more than 104 million U.S. Covid cases, leading to more than 1.1 million deaths.

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