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CDC deputy director set to retire in second high-profile exit

Ann Schuchat.
Ann Schuchat.Zach Gibson/Getty Images

A top-ranking Centers for Disease Control and Prevention official will retire this summer, the second member of the agency’s leadership to announce a departure in a month as controversy has swirled around its recommendations.

“I’ll be leaving the agency for a retirement that I hope will allow more time for creative passions,” CDC principal deputy director Anne Schuchat said Monday in a statement. “I will be leaving with the greatest respect and confidence in CDC’s leadership and staff, and the important work we do.”

Schuchat’s exit follows the resignation of Nancy Messonnier, the former director of CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases whose last day was Friday. The moves come amid criticism of the agency’s communications and policy changes in response to emerging science on how the virus spreads through aerosols and when wearing masks is needed.

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“I have enormous gratitude for Dr. Schuchat’s leadership and contributions over three decades, and during this very challenging period for our country,” CDC director Rochelle Walensky said in a statement. “I am especially thankful for her invaluable counsel, assistance and support in my transition into this role.”

Politico reported the news earlier.

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