Rochelle Walensky, the incoming director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said she will start her new job with a big to-do list: helping states fix Covid-19 vaccination programs and persuading exhausted Americans to wear masks and take other precautions.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Dr. Walensky said the agency will try to help people overcome doubts about Covid-19 vaccines and she vowed to increase public trust in the CDC.
Dr. Walensky will take the helm of the CDC on Wednesday, as a highly transmissible mutant, or variant, of the novel coronavirus threatens to cause a new surge in infections in the next few weeks.
Meanwhile, the vaccination campaign to stop the pandemic is off to a slow start, and surveys show many people in the U.S. are hesitant to get vaccinated.
“This is an emergency,” Dr. Walensky said, as she got paperwork for her new job done so she could get right to work immediately after the change in administrations. New presidents often wait weeks or months to name CDC directors.