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One-on-One with CDC’s Anne Schuchat

April 29, 2020

If there’s anyone who has spent their career preparing for a global pandemic, it’s Anne Schuchat, MD. Currently, she serves as the principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She served as acting CDC director from January-July 2017 and February-March 2018.

In the past 15 years, Schuchat worked on CDC emergency responses for the 2009 H1N1 pandemic influenza response, the 2003 SARS outbreak in Beijing, and the 2001 bioterrorist anthrax response. She’s worked at the CDC since 1988 on immunization, respiratory and infectious disease. Kate Winslet’s character in the 2011 film Contagion was even modeled after Shuchat.

She sat down with ASTHO for a 1-on-1 on her reaction to the COVID-19 response, what policymakers should be thinking about next, and what keeps her up at night.

“The virus hasn’t gone through the entire population. We don’t know whether the months ahead will bring a much worse illness, but I think we need to be ready for that. We need to have our systems even stronger than they’ve been in the past few months,” Schuchat says.


  • Anne Schuchat, MD (RADM, USPHS, RET), Principal Deputy Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)