CDC’s Walensky responds to resignation of health official who warned public of pandemic

During the White House COVID-19 response team briefing on Friday, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, praised the outgoing Nancy Messonnier, a CDC official who warned Americans in February 2020 of the looming dangers of the coronavirus.

Video transcript

- Thanks for taking my question. Nancy Messonnier, who was among the first to warn Americans of the threat that COVID-19 posed last year, announced this morning she is resigning from the CDC. This question is for Dr. Walensky. Can you explain why she was reassigned two weeks ago away from the agency's COVID-19 vaccine task force? And why is she now leaving the CDC?

ROCHELLE WALENSKY: Thank you very much for that question. As you note, Nancy has-- Dr. Messonnier has been a true hero. And through her career, in terms of public health, she's been a steward of public healthcare for the nation. Over this pandemic and through a many-decade career, she's made significant contributions. And she leaves behind a strong force of leadership and courage in all that she's done.

I want to wish her the best in her future endeavors. And I have no other comment. Thank you.