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Watchdog group Americans for Public Trust (APT) obtained over 500 pages of Walensky’s emails through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), revealing the director’s apparent unpreparedness in her official capacity.
In one email from January of last year, Walensky thanked her staff for providing her “cover” and standing in her “stead” while the director was responding to a request for information.
Another of Walensky’s emails from February 2021 revealed the director had stealth searched for her own agency’s social vulnerability index (SVI), a tool used by the agency to provide equity-focused disaster assistance, while “live” on TV during the agency’s COVID-19 Response Team briefing broadcast.
Walensky’s staff provided some information to her amid the broadcast, and the CDC director admitted in a thank-you email to the staffer who helped that she had googled the SVI.
“Thanks — I’ve never googled while on live today so today was a first,” Walensky wrote with a smiley face. “Found that and thank you for the scramble!”
“The pattern of disarray in these emails is consistent with the haphazard messaging and politicized policies coming out of the CDC,” APT executive director Caitlin Sutherland said in a Thursday email to Fox News Digital on Thursday.
“Unfortunately, it’s not shocking that an unprepared and unaware Dr. Rochelle Walensky Googled key agency terms on live TV, given that she relied on teachers unions to write school reopening guidance,” she continued.
The revealing emails illustrate an apparent level of dysfunction and unpreparedness among President Biden’s top health prevention agency.
Additionally, the emails are reflective of the chaotic response to the COVID-19 pandemic by the Biden administration and other Democrats as they continue to prioritize racial equity in their disease response.
A spokesman for Walensky defended the CDC director in a Thursday email to Fox News Digital, claiming there was “important context missing” from the emails and that she “had only been on the job for 3 weeks when she was preparing for a live, televised interview.”
“Before the interview started, the interview producer informed Dr. Walensky that one of the topics would be CDC’s Social Vulnerability Index (SVI). Dr. Walensky then requested from agency staff the 15 markers that made up the index to give an informed appearance,” Jason McDonald told Fox News Digital. “Knowing time was short and she was not likely to get a reply before the interview started, Dr. Walensky used a search engine to reach the CDC Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) website to make sure she had the index markers correct.”