After endless criticism for mishandling the COVID-19 pandemic, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced plans to overhaul the agency.

In announcing the plan, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said “it is time to step back and strategically position CDC to support the future of public health,” The Washington Post reported.

“In an agencywide email sent shortly after 1 p.m., Walensky said she has hired a senior federal health official outside of the Atlanta-based agency to conduct a one-month review to ‘kick off an evaluation of CDC’s structure, systems, and processes,’” the outlet added.

“‘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. ‘I am grateful for your efforts to lean into the hard work of transforming CDC for the better. I look forward to our collective efforts to position CDC, and the public health community, for greatest success in the future,’” the paper said.

The CDC has been criticized for its slow initial response to the pandemic, then for confusing guidance on masking, isolation, and quarantine, as well as booster shots. For instance, late last month, the CDC recommended booster shots for those 50 years old and older, while many other experts say they’re not necessary.

“Today, CDC expanded eligibility for an additional booster dose for certain individuals who may be at higher risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19,” Walensky said on March 29. “Boosters are safe, and people over the age of 50 can now get an additional booster 4 months after their prior dose to increase their protection further. This is especially important for those 65 and older and those 50 and older with underlying medical conditions that increase their risk for severe disease from COVID-19 as they are the most likely to benefit from receiving an additional booster dose at this time.”

But some experts said a fourth shot isn’t necessary, prompting a commentary piece by the Wall Street Journal headlined, “You Likely Don’t Need a Fourth Covid Shot.” Then the Food and Drug Administration came out and said it will authorize — but not recommend — a fourth shot for patients over 50. The CDC, meanwhile, does recommend the second booster, CNBC reported.

With confusing info out there, some Americans didn’t know what to do, the Post reported.

“[T]his time around, the federal government offered little detailed guidance about who should get the additional dose and when. Instead, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday that immunocompromised and older Americans could get a second booster while stopping short of recommending they do so — a change from some previous decisions regarding coronavirus vaccines. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said those most likely to benefit fall into two categories: those 65 and older; or anyone 50 and older with underlying medical conditions who are at higher risk for severe disease from covid-19,” the outlet reported.

Joseph Curl has covered politics for 35 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent, and ran the Drudge Report from 2010 to 2015. Send tips to and follow him on Twitter @josephcurl.

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