Taxpayers spent tens of thousands of dollars for Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to receive media training and improve her management skills from private firms, despite those services already available in the federal government.
According to a Freedom of Information Act request by Americans for Public Trust and first reported by Politico, CDC expense filings show the Biden administration spent $25,750 and authorized an additional $30,500 for these services. 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.
In addition, Walensky has also regularly seen a coach to improve her management skills. The CDC haspaid Boston-based Tim Sullivan’s firm, Wellesley Partners, $9,750 beginning in March 2021 with authorization to pay $16,500 more. Those sessions also run at $500 an hour.
The spending is allowed under the Government Employees Training Act (GETA) which gives agencies discretion on paying for employee training.
The expense authorization filings from the CDC require a stated “training objective.” And in that training objective field, Grunwald’s […]
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