The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spent more than $25,000 on media coaching plus additional funding for media training for Director Rochelle Walensky, according to newly revealed documents.
Walensky’s training included funding to longtime Democratic political consulting agency Grunwald.
New: Biden administration spent $25,750 and authorized an additional $30,500 for media training and executive coaching for CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, per expense docs w/ @adamcancryn @maxwelltani https://t.co/S07ac38WSG
— Alex Thompson (@AlexThomp) July 27, 2022
“The Biden administration spent $25,750 and authorized an additional $30,500 for media training and executive coaching for the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ROCHELLE WALENSKY, according to internal CDC expense authorization filings obtained by West Wing Playbook,” Politico reported.
“Starting in October 2021, Walensky enlisted longtime Democratic political consultant MANDY GRUNWALD for media training, conducted virtually, at a cost of about $500 per hour, according to the filings. In total, the CDC has paid Grunwald’s firm $16,000, with authorization to spend $14,000 more,” it added.
Biden administration spent over $25,000 on media coaching for CDC director https://t.co/aZeysGS8jr
— Tom Spencer (@trsmiami) July 28, 2022
The CDC’s statement
A spokesperson for Walensky, Kathleen Conley, told the Washington Examiner that media training is a typical practice for CDC directors “to ensure they are effectively and clearly communicating to public health partners and the American people.”
“This type of training is not an unusual practice,” Conley added. “It is a long-standing, prudent practice inside and outside of government for high-level officials to seek executive coaching.”
The Biden administration spent $25,000 and authorized $30,000 more to provide media coaching for the CDC’s Rochelle Walensky and that investment sure didn’t pay off https://t.co/HELxBmkzcw
— Not the Bee (@Not_the_Bee) July 28, 2022
The coaching did not seem to help as expected. The CDC and its leadership have repeatedly changed their views and advice, leading to strong mistrust from Americans.
In addition, the CDC continues to anger many Americans over claims to “follow the science” while reports come out about Democratic influences in the agency.
The media training may be normal for the CDC, but it’s still quite expensive for most Americans and certainly wasn’t enough to make the media appearances successful.