Dr. Rochelle Walensky
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Walensky is charged with leading the public health agency’s policy development for reopening the country and issuing updated COVID-19 guidelines. The CDC’s guidance issued in May saying fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks indoors or outdoors has been criticized by public health officials as being premature and confusing. Walensky has defended the agency’s actions, saying the guidelines are based in science. Another focal point for Walensky has been to increase attention to the problem of racism—which she declared a public health crisis—and its impact on health outcomes. Before taking over at CDC, Walensky was head of infectious diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital and a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.