Better than Trump is no longer good enough — we need to address the CDC train wreck



This is going to be our big thread for the next few days. 

I am trying to think of a case where a federal agency's mishandling of messaging and behavior economics has been this incompetent and this costly, and nothing comes to mind. Back in 2020, it was possible to assume that all of the blame (rather than just some of it) should go to the previous administration but it's mid-May and the fuck-ups just keep coming.


This is not a question of over- or underreacting (though the CDC has remarkably managed to do both). It's not a matter of taking the wrong positions (they've generally gotten the science right). The problem is that when it comes to crafting messages or setting up incentives or predicting public reactions, they are, to put it bluntly, spectacularly bad at their job.

The tragedy here is that the Biden administration's extraordinarily competent handling of the other aspects of the pandemic have brought us achingly close to our goal. We just have to do a few more things right.



P.S. Nor is this generally a good sign