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New CDC Director Takes Over Beleaguered Agency Amid Crisis

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FILE - In this Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020 file photo, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, speaks during an event in Wilmington, Del., to announce President-elect Joe Biden's health care team. Walensky, 51, an infectious-diseases specialist at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, is expected to become CDC director after Biden is inaugurated. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(AP) — The incoming director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is arriving at an agency that has been relegated to the sidelines during the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky arrives at the CDC this week as the virus’ U.S. death toll eclipses 400,000 and the nation’s largest ever vaccination campaign is wracked by confusion and delays.

Experts say that while the agency has retained some of its top scientific talent, it has a long list of needs, including protection from political influence, a review of its own missteps during the pandemic and more money.

 

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