Politics

Dr. Messonnier, one of first Americans to sound alarm on COVID in early 2020, resigns from CDC position

Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases who warned early in the pandemic that the coronavirus would “almost certainly” spread in the United States, resigned from her position with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Friday.

“I am truly appreciative of Dr. Messonnier’s service to her nation during her career at CDC. She has made significant contributions to public health and leaves behind a legacy of strong leadership and courage. I wish her the best in her future endeavors,” the spokesperson said. Messonnier “leaves behind a strong force of leadership and courage in all that she’s done,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said at a press briefing. “I want to wish her the best in her future endeavors.” Walensky did not address a reporter’s question asking why Messonnier was recently reassigned from her role.

Messonnier, who had served as director of the agency’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases since 2016, will resign from the agency effective May 14, multiple outlets reported Friday. She will take on a new role as executive director for pandemic and public health systems at the Skoll Foundation, a California-based organization, she reportedly told colleagues in an email. In early 2020, when fewer than 100 Covid cases had been reported in the U.S., Messonnier urged the nation to start preparing for a massive outbreak that would drastically affect normal life. “I understand this whole situation may seem overwhelming and that disruption to everyday life may be severe. But these are things that people need to start thinking about now,” Messonnier said in February 2020.

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ARTICLE PAUL MURDOCH

POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: THE INDEPENDENT

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