Rochelle Walensky said she’d ‘fix’ the CDC, but nine months in, she’s faltering

WASHINGTON — Operating via Zoom from her home office in Newton, Mass., Rochelle Walensky is facing down a challenge that would sound herculean for even the most hardened players in the federal bureaucracy: resuscitating the CDC.

Her challenge is especially tough because as director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Walensky is a political outsider and finds herself playing second fiddle to Anthony Fauci, the face of the U.S. pandemic response who has advised presidents for decades. And there’s this: The White House has not hesitated to undercut Walensky’s scientific expertise, and the agency’s scientific process.

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