Shaping CDC PR with taxpayer funds

Alex Thompson, Adam Cancryn and Max Tani:

The Biden administration spent $25,750 and authorized an additional $30,500 for media training and executive coaching for the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ROCHELLE WALENSKY, according to internal CDC expense authorization filings obtained by West Wing Playbook.

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’sfirm, 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.

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