Health Care

The switch comes amid a growing sense of burnout and fatigue within the CDC after almost two years of fighting Covid-19.

CDC employees are facing a crushing workload brought on by the surge in Delta cases and hospitalizations and the expansion of the nation’s vaccination campaign. | Mary Altaffer/AP Photo

By ERIN BANCO and SARAH OWERMOHLE

09/27/2021 07:30 PM EDT

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The veteran official leading the pandemic response at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is stepping aside, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.

Henry Walke, who has overseen the CDC’s Covid-19 response for more than a year, will be replaced by Barbara Mahon, the deputy chief of the agency’s enteric-disease branch, those sources said. Walke will remain at the agency as director of the CDC’s Division of Preparedness and Emerging Infections.

The switch comes amid a growing sense of burnout and fatigue within the CDC after almost two years of fighting Covid-19. Employees there are facing a crushing workload brought on by the surge in Delta cases and hospitalizations and the expansion of the nation’s vaccination campaign. Armed with CDC data and analyses, the administration last week expanded its use of booster shots. In the coming months the agency will help evaluate whether to give Covid-19 shots to children younger than 12.

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