Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- CDC -

US CDC logo.svg
State level United States Federal Agency
position Health authority
Supervisory authority United States Department of Health
founding October 27, 1992 (1946 as Office of National Defense Malaria Control Activities )
Headquarters Druid Hills, DeKalb County , Georgia
Authority management Rochelle Walensky , Director
Servants 21,000
Web presence
CDC headquarters in Druid Hills

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ; English for, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ') are an agency of the US Department of Health , headquartered in Druid Hills ( Georgia ).

The CDC was originally established in 1946 as the Office of National Defense Malaria Control Activities to aid in malaria control . The agency has branch offices in 49 states.


The purpose of the CDC is to protect public health . Infectious diseases are an important area of ​​responsibility of the authority : This means that its responsibility roughly corresponds to that of the Robert Koch Institute in Germany. However, it is sometimes more extensive in this area, since in Germany there are also federal as well as state responsibilities for health protection.

In the European Union there is the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), which has similar, but not the same, tasks, especially since health protection is largely the responsibility of the member states. In contrast to the CDC, the main focus of the ECDC's tasks is on advising and collecting disease incidence (e.g. with sentinel monitoring).

In addition, the CDC deals with general prevention of (including non-communicable) diseases, protection against environmentally-related diseases, occupational safety , health promotion and health education.

Smallpox viruses

Besides the Russian research center VECTOR (which was part of the Biopreparat ) in Kolzowo, southeast of Novosibirsk , the CDC are officially the only institution in the world that still stores smallpox viruses . Since the highly dangerous, frozen pathogens are released by an accident or a terrorist attack and could then spread worldwide, the destruction of these last stocks has already been considered several times. At the same time, however, one would lose the last chance to produce vaccines against smallpox in an emergency, which is why the decision was finally made against destruction and further storage.

The government-owned David J. Sencer CDC Museum is located at the Tom Harkin Global Communications Center (1600 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30329).

Word choice instructions

In December 2017, the Washington Post banned the CDC from using seven terms / words in official documents. This list of terms / words includes: “ vulnerable ”, “ entitlement ”, “ diversity ”, “ transgender ”, “ fetus ”, “ evidence-based ” and " Science-based " (on a scientific basis). Instead, expressions such as "The CDC bases its recommendations on science, taking into account public standards and wishes" should be used. The report was subsequently corrected insofar as it was not a question of prohibiting the terms, but rather alternative descriptions should be used to justify research projects or to obtain the necessary funding. This, too, is not without its problems, but it was already common practice in a similar form. The terms continue to be used by the CDC.

House of Representatives Special Committee

A special committee of the US House of Representatives is demanding until December 30, 2020 from Alex Azar (Minister of Health in the outgoing Trump administration ) and CDC chief Robert Redfield punished ( subpoena ) documents on allegations of political influence on measures against the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States . Committee chairman Jim Clyburn wrote on December 21, 2020 that the investigations so far had shown that "the efforts to interfere with the scientific work at the CDC were far more extensive and dangerous than previously known." Clyburn said US President Trump-appointed staff tried 13 cases over a period of four months to amend or block scientific reports. CDC employees were also put under pressure.


The directors of the CDC are the heads of agency, they are selected by the president and must be approved by the Senate. The first director was LL Williams and the current director is Rochelle Walensky .

See also

Web links

Commons : Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  2. CDC Leadership. In: Retrieved November 22, 2019 .
  3. ^ The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: What is the CDC and what does it do? 2020, accessed on March 21, 2020 .
  4. Smallpox Research: Fire in the Russian Virology Laboratory Vector. In: DER SPIEGEL. September 17, 2019, accessed June 29, 2020 .
  5. resettling in America: Georgia's Refugee communities. In: Retrieved August 22, 2016 .
  6. Lena H. Sun, Juliet Eilperin: CDC gets list of forbidden words: Fetus, transgender, diversity. In: Washington Post, December 15, 2017, accessed December 16, 2017 .
  7. US government bans certain words by epidemiological authorities. Spiegel, December 16, 2017, accessed December 16, 2017 .
  8. Trump bans health authority seven words. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, December 16, 2017, accessed on December 16, 2017 .
  9. The truth about those 7 words 'banned' at the CDC. In: CNN, January 31, 2018, accessed August 6, 2018 .
  10. Clyburn Issues Subpoenas to Azar and Redfield on Political Meddling in CDC's Coronavirus Response . See also Chairman Clyburn Releases Memo With New Evidence of Political Interference in Pandemic Response (December 16, 2020)

Coordinates: 33 ° 47 ′ 54.4 "  N , 84 ° 19 ′ 38.2"  W.