The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has announced efforts to improve the federal agency, amid over two years of public scrutiny and criticism about its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The planned revamping was announced Monday by CDC Director Rochelle Walensky in an agency-wide email in which she said, “It is time to step back and strategically position CDC to support the future of public health,” according to The Washington Post.

Walensky said the revamping process will begin with a one-month review of the CDC by a senior federal health official outside of the agency who she has hired.

She said the improvements will focus on the CDC’s “structure, systems and processes” and appeared to emphasize modernization on the 75-year-old agency.

“Over the past year, I have heard from many of you that you would like to see CDC build on its rich history and modernize for the world around us,” she wrote in the email shared with The Post.

Criticisms about the CDC’s response to COVID-1 – with related deaths in the U.S. nearing 1 million – range from its initial delays developing a coronavirus test to confusing guidance on masking, isolation, quarantining and booster doses. 

Other concerns include the agency’s apparent inability to act swiftly with analysis and the release of real-time data.

“Never in its 75-year history has CDC had to make decisions so quickly, based on often limited, real-time, and evolving science,” she said in the statement, in apparent recognition of the criticism. “As we’ve challenged our state and local partners, we know that now is the time for CDC to integrate the lessons learned into a strategy for the future.”

The effort is set to begin Tuesday and will be led by Jim Macrae, an administrator at the Health Resources and Services Administration, which like the CDC is part of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Also helping to lead the project will be CDC officials Deb Houry, Robin Bailey and Sherri Berger, The Post also reports

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