By Spencer Bokat-Lindell

Last week, Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, announced that the agency would be reorganized in light of a damning internal review of its widely criticized response to the coronavirus.

“For 75 years, C.D.C. and public health have been preparing for Covid-19, and in our big moment, our performance did not reliably meet expectations,” Walensky said. “To be frank, we are responsible for some pretty dramatic, pretty public mistakes, from testing to data to communications.”

The failure more than two years later to contain monkeypox — a much less contagious virus that was discovered decades ago and for which a vaccine already exists — seems only to underscore Walensky’s conclusions. “Although the U.S. might have once seemed like one of the nations best equipped to stop and prevent outbreaks,” Katherine J. Wu wrote in The Atlantic last month, “it is, in actuality, one of the best at squandering its potential instead.”

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