card on the campaign. Frieden is expected to leave office next month, as the
Trump administration takes control of federal agencies and appoints its own
The most clear-cut
progress was in cigarette smoking and teen pregnancy. Last year, national
goals were met for reducing adult smoking by more than 17 percent, and youth
smoking by 12 percent. The goal of cutting the teen birth rate by 20 percent
was also met.
Critics argued that
those were relatively easy goals - smoking and teen pregnancy rates were
already trending down before Frieden arrived. But Frieden argued that the
goals his agency set were ambitious and never assured.
Another goal once
considered within easy reach was the reduction of car crash deaths by 31
percent by 2015. Earlier in this decade those deaths were plummeting and the
goal seemed well within reach. But crash deaths only fell 21 percent because
of a recent uptick, which many attribute to distracted driving.
The report card
results in meeting two food safety goals. Rates of illness from harmful E.
coli bacteria dropped, but didn’t reach the goal of a 29 percent reduction
goal. And illness rates from salmonella increased.
-Mixed progress on
cutting down infections spread in hospitals and medical clinics. Three kinds
of infections declined, but not to target levels. And rates for certain
urinary tract infections didn’t fall at all.
the number of new HIV cases by 25 percent. The number of new cases fell by
-Failure to reduce
obesity rates for toddlers and older children. Instead, the rate grew
slightly, to more than 17 percent.
Despite the mixed
grades in the CDC’s report card on itself, some experts applauded CDC
efforts, saying the agency had only limited abilities to prevent illness or
stop people from doing things that hurt their own health.
“I think, to CDC’s
credit, they picked a broad range of public health challenges and they set
the bar high enough that they could not automatically declare success at the
end of an administration,” said Jeff Levi, a George Washington University
professor of health management and policy.
CDC has an annual budget of more than $13 billion and a staff of more than
15,000. Much of its funding is distributed to state and local health
departments, and many of them follow the CDC’s agenda-setting lead.