The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced her resignation on Friday, becoming the second high-profile Biden administration official to leave in the last two weeks.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky notified President Joe Biden of her resignation, writing in a letter to the president that she had “mixed feelings” about the decision. Her last day will be June 30.
“I have never been prouder of anything I have done in my professional career,” she wrote.
Walensky played a crucial role in the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic since she took over as CDC Director in Jan. 2021.
The CDC released a statement praising Walensky’s leadership, asserting that she “helped restore morale and a sense of normalcy to an agency that had been enduring significant public adversity related to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“Walensky has led CDC through a transition to greater normalcy across the country, after two years of COVID-19 related closures and waves of dangerous, new virus variants. She also launched Moving Forward – a wide-ranging set of reforms designed to strengthen CDC communications and response operations,” the statement read.
Biden also released a statement on Walensky’s departure:
Dr. Walensky has saved lives with her steadfast and unwavering focus on the health of every American. As Director of the CDC, she led a complex organization on the frontlines of a once-in-a-generation pandemic with honesty and integrity. She marshalled our finest scientists and public health experts to turn the tide on the urgent crises we’ve faced.
Dr. Walensky leaves CDC a stronger institution, better positioned to confront health threats and protect Americans. We have all benefited from her service and dedication to public health, and I wish her the best in her next chapter.