As director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Rochelle Walensky has a lot on her plate right now—perhaps too much, given her history of misrepresenting COVID-19 research, promoting dangerously mixed messages about vaccination, issuing confusing and scientifically dubious advice, and laying claim to vast powers that Congress never gave her. But Walensky’s pandemic-related duties did not deter her from publicly switching focus to a highly contentious subject that has always spelled trouble for the CDC: gun violence.
“Something has to be done about this,” Walensky told CNN last week. “Now is the time. It’s pedal-to-the-metal time.”
Although that metaphor suggests hasty action, Walensky emphasized that she is not calling for new gun controls. “I’m not here about gun control,” she said. “I’m here about preventing gun violence and gun death.”
In Walensky’s view, the CDC needs to investigate the causes of gun-related deaths so that…