US CDC, or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, announced it would shuffle its staff. The health agency also said it had fallen short in responding to emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic.

The CDC is calling the new measure a “reset” of the organisation, which now aims to speed up data releases. This will include restructuring the CDC with internal staff movements. Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the CDC, said that the action had not been advised by the White House.

Also Read: Only half of America’s eligible population have received COVID-19 booster

While it is customary for the CDC to see some staff reorganisation, Walensky’s announcement comes at a time of heavy criticism. In addition to COVID-19, the health agency has also been under the scanner for its response to the monkeypox outbreak.

“It’s not lost on me that we fell short in many ways” responding to the coronavirus, Walensky said in a statement on Wednesday. She added, “We had some pretty public mistakes, and so much of this effort was to hold up the mirror … to understand where and how we could do better.”

The request for resetting the CDC will now go to Xavier Becerra, the US Secretary of Health and Human Services. Officials told Associated Press that they hope to have a full package of changes finalised, approved and underway by early next year.

Also Read: Nearly 3 decades later, is America ready to meet the polio challenge?

What went wrong?

The agency has long been criticized as too ponderous, focusing on the collection and analysis of data but not acting quickly against new health threats. Public unhappiness with the agency grew dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Experts said the CDC was slow to recognize how much virus was entering the US from Europe, to recommend people wear masks, to say the virus can spread through the air, and to ramp up systematic testing for new variants.

In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States is also battling the monkeypox outbreak and the renewed threat of polio.