On Friday, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), revealed her intention to resign from her post on June 30, The New York Times reports.
Her tenure was marked by significant challenges as the CDC endeavored to control the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a March 2021 MSNBC interview, Walensky touted CDC data that incorrectly suggested people who have been fully vaccinated “do not” carry COVID or get sick from the virus.
During an interview with Rachel Maddow, Walensky said: “Our data from the CDC today suggests that vaccinated people do not carry the virus, don’t get sick, and that it’s not just in the clinical trials, but it’s also in real-world data.”
Immediately following her MSNBC appearance, her own agency walked back her statement: “Dr. Walensky spoke broadly during this interview,” the CDC told The Times. “It’s possible that some people who are fully vaccinated could get Covid-19. The evidence isn’t clear whether they can spread the virus to others. We are continuing to evaluate the evidence.”
Nearly four months later, Walensky put out a statement admitting that the vaccinated can be infected with COVID and that “vaccinated people infected with Delta can transmit the virus.”
By August 2021, the CDC director admitted that COVID vaccines “can’t” prevent transmission of coronavirus.
Nevertheless, in June 2022, Walensky endorsed a recommendation that “all children 6 months through 5 years of age should receive a COVID-19 vaccine,” according to the agency’s website.
The 54-year-old CDC head earns a yearly salary of $261,516 as a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School while earning $67,244 from the CDC.
“Is that 261,516 conflicts of interest?” asks Dr. Richard Bartlett, former appointee to then-Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s Health Disparities Task Force. “The AMA Code of Medical Ethics says that a doctor must disclose all financial conflicts of interest concerning treatment options discussed. Did Dr. Walensky disclose any conflicts of interest she promoted?”
Harvard received $895,175, over 30 months, in grants from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The Gates Foundation funds the development of COVID vaccines, including a Jan 2016 contribution of $20 million to Moderna.
The foundation also owns stock in Pfizer.
On October 18, 2019, just months before the COVID-19 outbreak, the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, in partnership with the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the Gates Foundation hosted “Event 201,” which Johns Hopkins described as a “high-level pandemic exercise” in New York, New York.
The exercise was a “3.5-hour pandemic tabletop exercise that simulated a series of dramatic, scenario-based facilitated discussions, confronting difficult, true-to-life dilemmas associated with response to a hypothetical, but scientifically plausible, pandemic,” according to Johns Hopkins.
Participating as prominent players in the exercise were Timothy Grant Evans, former Assistant Professor in International Health Economics at the Harvard School of Public Health, Matthew J. Harrington, global chief operating officer at Edelman and writer for Harvard Business Review, and George Fu Gao, who conducted post-doctoral work at Harvard.
It is worth noting that Dr. Goa, a virologist, was the CDC director of China during Event 201 and led the agency when the virus initially emerged in Wuhan. After three years of scrutiny, Goa went on record saying “there is no evidence” COVID emerged from animals.
Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel admitted on CNBC at the WEF’s Davos that his pharmaceutical company had already been working on a COVID-19 vaccine in January 2020, at the very beginning of the outbreak.
“What a tangled web of intrigue,” commented Bartlett, a 30-year Texas physician.
President Biden today lauded Dr. Walensky’s contributions to the CDC in a statement following her announcement: “She marshaled our finest scientists and public health experts to turn the tide on the urgent crises we’ve faced.”
He added that Dr. Walensky leaves the CDC as a “stronger institution, better positioned to confront health threats and protect Americans.”
Addressing CDC employees during an agency-wide meeting, Dr. Walensky expressed mixed feelings about her decision to resign and became tearful, as reported by those who attended the conference call, The Times notes.
In a follow-up email to the staff, she stated, “I took on this role with the goal of leaving behind the dark days of the pandemic and moving the C.D.C. — and public health — into a much better and more trusted place.”
Walensky emphasized the CDC’s action under her leadership, including administering over 670 million COVID vaccine doses and pushing recommendations on vaccination, social distancing, and masking practices.