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Decatur resident Dr. Nancy Messonnier resigns from role at CDC

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Decatur resident Dr. Nancy Messonnier resigns from role at CDC

Photo of Dr. Nancy Messonnier provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Atlanta, GA — Dr. Nancy Messonnier is resigning from her role at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the agency’s director confirmed last week. The Decatur resident is a health expert who was among the first to raise concerns about the threat COVID-19 posed to the U.S.

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 that was reported on by CNBC. “I want to wish her the best in her future endeavors.”

Messonier has served as director of the agency’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory since 2016. She also led the CDC’s COVID-19 task force but was reassigned from that role in April. She was moved to an incident management response team, according to Politico.

Her resignation was effective as of Friday, May 14. She will begin a new role was executive director for pandemic and public health systems at the Skoll Foundation, a California-based organization, CNBC reported.

Early in 2020, when less than 100 COVID-19 cases has been reported in the U.S., Messonnier urged the country to start preparing for a massive outbreak that would drastically impact normal life.

Her warnings contrasted sharply with former President Donald Trump’s messaging, prompting him to threaten to fire Messonnier, according to CNBC.

The Decatur mom also signed a letter to the editor published in Decaturish in December 2020. She and her husband, Mark Messonnier, signed the letter as private citizens.

The letter was signed by many other public health and medical professionals who expressed concerns about the narrow use and misrepresentation of science in City Schools of Decatur’s justification to not provide sixth through 12th grade students an option to return to in-person learning at the time.

The group of 18 signees believed that the school district’s decision to continue virtual learning for middle and high school students was based on a misread of the available evidence on school-based transmission of the coronavirus.

The letter to the editor goes on to say that while the CDC provided guidance on an array of mitigation strategies for schools, including wearing masks, physical distancing, environmental hygiene and cohorting, there was no evidence to suggest that all of those measures had to be in place to the degree CSD was requiring.

Messonnier did not immediately respond to a request for a comment.

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