Centers for Disease Control

I read an interesting article about mismanagement at the Centers for Disease Control this morning. While not political in the normal sense (no attacks on Bush here!), the article presents a case study in the proper organization of federal agencies. The new director seems to have started to treat the CDC as if it were a business–reorganizing it to try and sell a unified message. Described in those terms, it’s hard to see the issue, but the problem arises because the CDC contains many scientists working on improving public health. So the changes have curtailed their ability to do their work, and by extension, to make us safer. What’s happened to the CDC is part of a broader pattern of treating the federal bureaucracies as tools to be used by the people in charge of them, rather than as a group of specialists who are there to do a well-defined job.

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