Interviewer Asks CDC Director If The Pandemic Is Over — “I’ll Take That As A No”

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky refused to say the COVID-19 pandemic was over, contradicting President Biden’s statement last week that the “pandemic is over.”

ABC News host Terry Moran asked Walensky whether or not she agreed with Biden’s statement. Walensky deflected by saying, “here’s what I can tell you,” and launched into a monologue citing open businesses, open schools and mass adoption of the COVID-19 vaccines as evidence of a waning pandemic that still requires methods of “protection.”

Walensky said, “deaths are still at 350 a day [sic] but they are way lower than they were a year ago.” Moran pressed Walensky asking, “so the pandemic is not over from your perspective?”

Walensky again deflected, saying that CDC guidance is for people to do everything they can to protect themselves. Walensky said she recommends using the “tools” available including the “primary series if you haven’t yet gotten it,” and the “updated Fall bivalent vaccine,” which is designed to protect against the newest Omicroc variants BA.4 and BA.5.

Moran summed up Walensky’s careful response by saying, “I’ll take that as a no.”

Walensky also admitted that because vaccine efficacy decreases over time it is particularly important that people get vaccinated or boosted. She shared that she is delighted to be as protected as possible.

Moran, steering the conversation towards the CDC, asked Walensky for her take on the “scathing” internal CDC report, which Walensky commissioned, about the agency’s failure to provide consistent, actionable, clear guidance to the public during the pandemic, especially concerning masking and social distancing.

“I think this is critically important,” Walensky said. According to her, the CDC had never in its history had to perform its function within the context of a global pandemic that impacted “every single American.”

Reflecting on where the CDC “could have done better,” Walensky notes that the CDC is no longer only consulting medical professionals and healthcare experts when it comes to its public policy. “We’re talking to the American people.” Walensky continues, saying that the CDC needs to provide accessible, understandable data, so that people can understand how “the science” should impact their decisions.

Moran then noted that the CDC failed to get the necessary “buy-in” from the American people, largely along ideological lines. Moran asks if there is anything the government can do to “cure” the public health problem that “COVID is a disease of certain parts of the country.”

Walensky said that she cares about “keeping America healthy, regardless of how they vote.” She said her job is to arm people with the information they need to make the best “decisions for their own personal health.”