Breaking News Today

CDC’s second-in-command Anne Schuchat to step down

Published: (Updated: ) in USA news by .

Her decision reportedly comes after clashes with agency director Rochelle Walensky.

Top Centers for Disease Control and Prevention official Anne Schuchat is planning to step down from her role as the agency's principal deputy director this summer, the agency confirmed to POLITICO.

Schuchat's retirement would be the CDC's second high-profile departure in the past month, after longtime senior scientist Nancy Messonnier said in early May she also planned to leave.

The expected exits follow more than a year of intense scrutiny of the CDC and its pandemic decision-making that subjected senior officials to constant pressure from both inside and outside the Trump and Biden administrations.

Schuchat in a statement confirmed that she planned to leave later this year to “allow more time for creative passions,“ adding that she had “the greatest respect and confidence in the CDC’s leadership and staff.”

A career CDC scientist for more than 30 years, Schuchat has served as the agency's No. 2 official since 2015. She twice did brief stints as the CDC's acting director, and was key to the federal government's response to major infectious disease outbreaks including the H1N1 pandemic, SARS outbreak and the coronavirus crisis.

But she had clashed with CDC Director Rochelle Walensky in recent months, a person familiar with the matter said. Another senior health official said Schuchat was in the running to become the agency’s director under the Biden administration before the position went to Walensky.

“I have enormous gratitude for Dr. Schuchat’s leadership and contributions over three decades, and during this very challenging period for our country,” Walensky said in a statement. “I will remain forever grateful that our paths crossed, even for just a short while.“

READ:  Louisiana coastline begins recovery from Laura

Schuchat was among the career health officials who sounded alarms about the severity of the coronavirus threat throughout 2020, even as then-President Donald Trump and other political appointees sought to downplay the crisis.

She was also pulled into internal battles over CDC scientific reports that Trump officials tried to interfere with last year — a monthslong episode that first began with a report that Shuchat herself had authored.

Source: Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories

Share This
Finance Advice 2021