The CDC costs Americans too much

Big changes are happening in the U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) agency. The CDC will be voluntarily reorganizing itself while asking Congress for more money and more power to fix its own mistakes. The declaration from Director Rochelle Walensky came a month after a surprise announcement that another HHS agency, the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), would be given more power and responsibility in pandemic management,[i], [ii] leaving Americans to wonder how their tax dollars are being used – and what could happen to their liberties – as agencies with unelected officials expand rapidly after mismanaging America’s public health during the declared COVID pandemic.

What the CDC wants will cost Americans too much in tax dollars and in liberty.


It’s a widely accepted truth that the American government’s response to COVID-19 hurt more people than it helped. Some are outraged that the government didn’t do more, and more quickly, to curtail rights of Americans in the name of the greater good and some are devastated by harms from withheld treatments. Americans are angered at censorship and lies about COVID and its treatments or prevention attempts. And the taxpayer money that was poured into emergency spending measures did not stop the suffering or deaths of the American people.

The CDC is the public face of failure for federal COVID policy. And now the CDC wants to expand. Director Rochelle Walensky announced in August 2022 that the agency would undergo a major overhaul – a “reset,” – to address its failures managing public health emergencies. She issued no apology to the American people for the devastation caused by bad federal policy and guidance.

The announcement from Walensky is in response to the results of an agency investigation announced in April 2022. Walensky stated that an agency review and overhaul wasn’t ordered by the White House, but was her own idea. The investigation was led by an individual with decades of experience in HHS, and as far as it’s reported, he had no input from the American public or from private stakeholders. The report of the CDC internal investigation has yet to be released.

Walensky wants the agency to move faster and communicate better. The story of the agency is told as one of slow and careful scientists in ivory towers, paid to publish rather than act, who desperately need “modernization” (and more money). To address its failures, we’re told the CDC needs more data, more money, and more authority. News story after news story tells a tale of transformation, where the CDC will convert its culture from academic to action-oriented, saving us from the next (inevitable) pandemic.

In an email to CDC staff, Director Walensky laid out some of the changes to come:

  1. Increase the use of preprints to get information out more quickly, rather than waiting for peer-reviewed reports in the MMWR (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report).
  2. Create a new executive council to set strategy and priorities (with no information about how this would differ from the existing Advisory Committee to the Director).
  3. Restructure the agency’s communications office and revamp the website and other messaging.
  4. Require outbreak response agency leaders to stay at least six months in that position before returning to their regular duties.
  5. Create a new office on intergovernmental affairs.
  6. Create a new office on health equity.
  7. Hire Mary Wakefield, former HRSA Director in the Obama administration, and a nurse, to oversee all the changes.[iii]

The Washington Post reported Walensky will ask Congress to mandate state data sharing with the agency.[iv] The states don’t currently have to report to the CDC and can protect the private health information of their own citizens from widespread use. There are also plans to change the way the agency hires and incentivizes employees, as well as restructuring the organization of existing divisions and offices.

The restructure had already begun months before the public announcement. Wakefield is already on the job. She brings her years of experience heading the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), as well as acting deputy secretary of HHS under the Obama administration. She served as subcommittee chair for former President Clinton’s Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Health Care Industry. Trained as a nurse, Wakefield has held numerous educational positions, has worked as a staffer in the U.S. Senate, and has advised or presented on health policy in many arenas.[v] She has also worked in Geneva as a consultant to the World Health Organization (WHO).[vi]

The CDC also started ramping up their communication strategy by hiring Kevin Griffs to head their efforts. Griffs held public affairs and communications positions in the Obama administration. He left government work to become VP for Communication at Planned Parenthood while Donald Trump was in office and made his way back to the federal government with the Biden administration as new head of the CDC’s communication.[vii]

Another part of the “reset” that is already in motion is a cryptic announcement by Walensky in May 2022 that the Incident Management Structure CDC team that coordinated the national response to COVID would “return some of its functioning to other departments.”[viii] (No mention was made of ASPR’s new role at the time, but one could wonder about those discussions behind closed doors at the White House.)

The CDC is hoping to start implementing changes by early 2023.[ix]

The economic costs of CDC expansion are too great.

The CDC claims they need more funding to better respond to public health emergencies. The Congressional Research Service estimates that through February 2022, the CDC itself received over $27 billion dollars and administered over $56 billion dollars in grants to address COVID and update data infrastructure. This money is in addition to the typical annual budget of the organization which is around $8 billion for program costs.

As of February 28, 2022, the CDC has received $27.226 billion through the COVID-19 relief appropriations measures. Some of the one-time public health funding in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA; P.L. 117-2) was not tied to the pandemic, but instead was made available for general public health capabilities, such as for data modernization (Section 2404; $500 million). In addition, the CDC has administered over $40 billion in appropriations on behalf of HHS through its grant programs (from the PHSSEF account). As a result, $56.119 billion in CDC COVID-19 grants have been awarded to state, tribal, and local agencies as of February 1, 2022.[xi] -Congressional Research Service

Even with all that funding — almost four times its yearly budget — the director of the CDC admitted failure in handling public health emergencies. How much more funding should the CDC get?

“For 75 years, CDC and public health have been preparing for COVID-19, and in our big moment, our performance did not reliably meet expectations,” said CDC Director Rochelle Walensky.[x] 

Despite these acknowledged failures, and the fact that the White House is expanding pandemic response of ASPR (which will now be known as the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response), the president proposes to do it again. The President’s FY2023 budget would increase the CDC’s budget from just under $9 billion dollars to $38.76 billion, a 356.9% increase relative to 2022, according to the Congressional Research Service.[xii] This includes a new mandatory pandemic preparedness appropriation of $28 billion, but even without that, the president still proposes to increase the CDC budget by 27% over the previous year.

Walensky will be asking Congress to restructure CDC access to funds, so the agency can have more control over what money goes where. History shows us this would be a complete disaster when we see that for years, the CDC has prioritized chronic disease programs, or lifestyle choices like vaping, over infectious disease prevention and mitigation.[xiii]

The CDC’s proposed restructuring adds more to an already bloated agency. Why does the director need a new executive council when she already has the Advisory Committee to the Director?

Walensky and the White House are calling for more CDC money, but the amount of money injected into the CDC during the COVID emergency response was astronomical and led to one of the greatest public health disasters in our country’s history.

According to the Congressional Research Service, “[i]n the United States, most public health activities are carried out by state and local governments” and a large part of that funding comes from CDC grants or cooperative agreements. American tax dollars do not need to be funneled through the CDC for states to perform their constitutionally protected function of protecting public health and welfare. Americans would be better served by allowing those tax dollars to stay at home rather than going to a federal agency that wants less accountability.

Further, CDC money can come with strings — when states or localities get grants and awards from the CDC, many times they are required to follow CDC guidance, which could end with disastrous consequences. States are better equipped to know the unique needs of their own citizens and communities. States are also able to be nimbler and more responsive more quickly than a huge federal government that must account for the needs of a whole country. Moving decision making and discretion away from states and local communities when it comes to public health is bad policy, especially after demonstrated failure of the federal agency.

But the CDC does not just move federal tax dollars back to the states, it also “awards funding to a variety of other entities, including international governments and organizations; tribal governments and organizations; academia and research institutions; and nonprofit organizations.”[xiv] The CDC notes in its 2023 budget justification that its global surveillance programs “will be coordinated with public health data modernization initiatives to ensure interoperability and accessibility of data collected in order to provide timely and actionable information to decision makers.”[xv] With more control over how they spend their money, “flexible” grants that include public-private partnerships.”

Further, the CDC is asking Congress to add a mandatory spending appropriation to expand adult immunization. The CDC proposes to create a Vaccines for Adults program, modeled on the Vaccines for Children program, that would provide vaccines for free for qualifying adults, in order to increase the number of adults in compliance with ACIP recommendations on the adult immunization schedule. The rationale is that giving adults free pharmaceutical products will increase the ability to get shots in adult arms during the next pandemic.

The CDC will ignore fundamental rights in the name of the greater good.

The CDC worked with social media to suppress free speech, then admitted they were wrong.

Many Americans questioned the guidance from the CDC about masking, social distancing, isolation, lockdowns, and the COVID shots. These Americans were labeled anti-vaxxers and deplatformed from their social media accounts in a direct and blatant violation of their First Amendment rights.

Many governors across the country stood up to unfounded CDC direction and allowed their citizens to keep businesses and schools open, prohibited COVID shot mandates, and more. Interestingly, the places that did not heed CDC guidance fared the best throughout the declared pandemic.

The CDC quietly issued new guidance in line with what questioning Americans have said from the start, but has issued no apology to the billions of Americans they have harmed with bad policy. There has been no acknowledgement that their actions to suppress the flow of information about the experimental COVID shots, or any pandemic health policy, harmed Americans.

But now the CDC wants to double down on efforts to manage “communication,” and continue to address “vaccine hesitancy.”

The CDC believes there’s a different Fourth Amendment for them.

The HHS and the CDC assert that Americans do not have typical Fourth Amendment protections in a public health action. “HHS/CDC notes that courts have recognized that while the requirements for probable cause and a warrant generally apply in a criminal context, these standards do not apply when the government is conducting a non-law-enforcement-related activity.”[xvi]

As SHF reported in our campaign against the WHO, in 2017, the CDC updated its own regulations on domestic quarantine to “include new regulatory language clarifying when an individual who is moving between U.S. states is “reasonably believed to be infected” with a quarantinable communicable disease in a “qualifying stage.” These determinations are made when the CDC considers the need to apprehend or examine an individual for potential infection with a quarantinable communicable disease.”

The final rule also updated regulatory language to align with existing criminal penalties set forth in the statute.

In response to comments from concerned Americans, the CDC addressed opposition to the rule “because of a perceived negative social impact upon individuals placed under a public health order.” They responded that “one compelling reason for the publication of this final rule is to make the public aware of these measures so that the words, purposes, and meanings of “quarantine” and “isolation” become more familiar and less likely to cause public anxiety and stigmatization.” In other words, in 2017, the CDC was actively working to normalize “public health order” to quarantine and isolate Americans.

As if they had a crystal ball, some Americans in 2017 were concerned about the potential use of cell phones or wearable technology for the purpose of electronic monitoring. Three years later, the CDC did exactly that during the declared COVID pandemic. As reported by SHF, it was revealed that the CDC purchased cell phone data to track compliance with lockdown mandates. In 2017, the CDC’s position was: “CDC acknowledges that the use of wearable tracking technology may be necessary in rare situations when a person does not comply with the required monitoring or when it is necessary to know the physical whereabouts of the person to ensure that they are not in a public place. While HHS/CDC acknowledges that public health surveillance of ill or exposed individuals through electronic monitoring may raise some privacy concerns, HHS/CDC believes that protecting the public’s health outweighs these concerns.”

This 2017 regulation created a definition for a “precommunicable stage” of illness, starting from “an individual’s earliest opportunity for exposure to an infectious agent.” In this age of contact tracing, this means any app you have that automatically collects exposure data from other cell phones, for example, would get you on a list of Americans with a “precommunicable” disease, subject to potential “federal isolation.”

CDC mistakes had nothing to do with lack of data or funding.

What’s the problem with giving the CDC more power? It costs too much. American tax dollars are being sucked into a vacuum of federal expansion, while unelected officials at agencies grasp at more control and less accountability.

The mistakes the CDC made had nothing to do with lack of funding. It’s clear from the numbers above that the agency will stumble and harm Americans more with every extra dollar they get.

It’s also clear that the bad policy coming from the CDC had nothing to do with a lack of data. The mistakes came from ignoring basic science, common sense, and mishandling the data it had.

The biggest mistakes the CDC made would not have been prevented with more data.

Top 10 CDC COVID Policy Mistakes

Stand for Health Freedom has exposed massive problems with the data the CDC collected that formed the basis for their COVID policy. At the core of this data disaster was a CDC decision to change the way COVID deaths were reported, which obscured statistics across the country. (Take a deep dive on this at the SHF page for CDC Investigation.)

CDC wants more data but doesn’t know what’s happening in their own backyard. At a congressional hearing, Director Walensky stated she didn’t know how many of her own 11,000 employees are vaccinated.[xx]

A recent MMWR publication shows the CDC retreating to what many Americans already knew: we should not discriminate based on COVID shot status, because natural immunity provides protection.[xxi]

Despite mishandling the data they already have, the CDC wants Congress to mandate that states give them the data of private citizens.

The Immunization Information System has long been viewed as a potential way to track the vaccination status of Americans and to form the basis of a national digital vaccine credential. But the CDC has shown us they believe the rights to privacy and freedom from unreasonable search and seizure should bow to their public health decisions.

The CDC needs to learn how to manage the data they already have and commit to following Fourth Amendment rights before asking for data floodgates to be opened to their agency.

Take action today! Your congresspeople need to know that more data and more money for the CDC has already proven to be harmful to Americans. They must take a stand and say no to any mandated state sharing of private health information, and no to massive funding increases.



Steps You Can Take


Step One: Take action now to tell the U.S. Congress that CDC’s mistakes will only get bigger as the agency grows. Send a letter urging them to say no to CDC expansion.


Step Two: This year’s mid-term elections are crucial for your rights to health privacy and informed consent. Make sure you’re supporting candidates who will work to protect your medical and health rights!

References & Sources

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[xv], page 59.








Jill Hines

Directory of Advocacy
A former banker turned homeschool mom, Jill Hines began researching alternatives to conventional medicine in 2010 and what she discovered changed the trajectory of her life. She corrected a worrisome health issue, and embraced a natural approach to wellness. Advocating for informed consent and parental rights became a full-time mission when she joined the board of the Georgia Coalition for Vaccine Choice and later became the co-director of Health Freedom Louisiana. Due to her advocacy efforts during the COVID crisis, Jill was one of 25 Louisianans selected by Central City News as “a hero of the constitutional crisis.” She was also presented the Impact Award for Outstanding Public Service from the government watchdog organization Citizens for a New Louisiana. Jill now represents hundreds of millions of Americans who experienced censorship due to the Biden administration's efforts to suppress disfavored speech as a plaintiff in the landmark lawsuit Missouri v. Biden. Jill holds a marketing degree from Louisiana Tech University and now passionately “sells” health freedom full-time. Serving as Stand for Health Freedom’s advocacy director provides an incredible opportunity to advance the growing movement to preserve the sacred right to refuse unwanted medical interventions for ourselves and our children without fear of retribution.
“We have lived through a terrifying societal, psychological, and medical experiment which afforded us a knowledge that our forefathers tried to impart and we can no longer ignore: Our freedom is tenuous. For our children’s sake, the time is now to take a stand for health freedom.”

Chrissy Scott

Executive Assistant and Social Media Manager

A labor and delivery nurse with a lifelong passion for maternal and fetal health, Chrissy Scott left her job of 19 years after learning the truth about the harms caused by the medical system. In 2009, she was mandated by her employer to receive the H1N1 vaccine during her first trimester of pregnancy with her second child. She was assured that the vaccine was “safe and effective” for pregnant women, but her son was born with a kidney defect that could have been fatal. She didn’t connect the dots to vaccine injury until several years later when the declining health of her oldest son drove her to seek answers outside of allopathic medicine.

This personal journey ignited in her a new passion for truth and transparency in health care. As SHF’s Executive Assistant, Chrissy facilitates communication and local advocacy initiatives alongside Leah Wilson for their home state of Indiana. She also manages and creates graphics for SHF’s social media accounts and the website’s swag shop.

Chrissy earned her nursing degree from Anderson University and served her entire career at her local hospital. While she’s no longer a floor nurse, her five very active boys frequently test her nursing skills! She homeschools her children and has been co-owner of a successful home décor sign business with her sister.

“Parents, being the experts on their own children, are best suited to make decisions for the well-being of their family. To do this properly, they must be given full and accurate information and be free from force or coercion.”

Ellen Chappelle


Ellen Chappelle serves as SHF’s resident wordsmith. A seasoned writer and editor, she’s enthusiastic about ensuring that our content is clear, concise, and inspiring.

Ellen is most energized by working on projects that transform lives. A truth seeker as well as a journalist, she’s disturbed by the lack of accuracy in today’s media and determined to help share fact rather than fiction. And having found greater healing with alternative approaches, she’s also passionate about preserving our freedom to make informed health choices.

Past projects include serving as regional editor of a dog magazine, color and trend specialist for a small cosmetics company, arts columnist, newspaper reporter, ghostwriter, and creator of website content for artists and small businesses.

With a degree in journalism and theatre, Ellen is also a performer. She enjoyed singing and dancing on a cruise ship and traveling with a national musical theatre tour, as well as recording industrial videos, television commercials, and radio voiceovers. She also creates handcrafted jewelry in wire, chain maille, and fused glass.

“Despite what some would have us believe, the fact remains that this nation was founded on biblical principles by people who wanted freedom to worship God and live their lives without government involvement. It’s never been more critical to fight for those rights.”


Executive Director and Co-founder

An attorney with a background in complex litigation and advocacy, Leah Wilson is passionate about children’s health and has researched and worked on child welfare issues for more than a decade.

The overmedication of children in foster care as a form of behavior management is what compelled Leah to become an advocate and foster parent. During her time as a court-appointed special advocate for abused and neglected children, Leah witnessed the rampant use of psychiatric drugs among foster kids. She also discovered that, in addition to many extensive requirements, the state had a policy that all foster children and foster families be fully vaccinated, without exception. Through her involvement in law, health and the foster care system, it became abundantly clear to Leah that the single most important issue affecting child welfare in the United States is the practice of one-size-fits-all medicine via medical mandates. This motivated Leah to expand her advocacy beyond foster care to all children nationwide and to start Stand for Health Freedom (SHF) in 2019.

A graduate of the Saint Louis University School of Law, Leah holds dual bachelor degrees in political science and Spanish from Indiana University. In addition to her advocacy work with SHF, Leah is the owner and former operations director of MaxLiving Indy, one of the largest natural health centers in the Midwest. She is also an educator on holistic health as well as a sought-after speaker on issues ranging from religious rights to greening your home.

“Parental rights and religious freedom are God-given natural rights that cannot arbitrarily be taken away by government authorities. Parents are the single most important factor in a child’s success; I stand in full support of this sacred relationship.”

Sayer JI

Director and Co-founder

Sayer Ji is a widely recognized researcher, author, lecturer, activist, and educator on natural health modalities. Among his many roles, he is an advisor to Stand for Health Freedom, a reviewer and editor of the International Journal of Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine, an advisory board member of the National Health Federation, a steering committee member of the Global GMO Free Coalition, and the co-founder and CEO of Systome Biomed Inc., a revolutionary scientific validation framework.

Most notably, Sayer is the founder of, the world’s most widely referenced, evidence-based natural health resource of its kind. He founded the platform in 2008 to provide an open access, evidence-based resource supporting natural and integrative modalities. Today, has more than a million visits per month, serving as a trusted resource on myriad health and wellness topics to physicians, healthcare practitioners, clinicians, researchers and consumers worldwide.

Sayer attended Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, where he studied under the notable American philosopher Dr. Bruce W. Wilshire. He received a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy in 1995, with a focus on the philosophy of science. His new book, Regenerate: Unlocking Your Body’s Radical Resilience through the New Biology, was released in March 2020 and is an Amazon bestseller.

“I truly believe that education will be our greatest shield against accelerating the erosion of civil liberties, including the right to bodily sovereignty, as well as the greatest catalyst for positive change on this planet moving forward.”

Bailey Kuykendoll

Associate Director

Designer and visual marketer Bailey Kuykendoll began advocating for health and religious freedom and parental rights in 2014 after learning she was pregnant. A self-described skeptic, she’s not afraid to ask questions and do copious amounts of research to reach her own conclusions.

She’s also not afraid of hard work. As SHF’s Relationship Manager, Bailey truly keeps the organizational boat afloat. Working closely with health freedom advocates in each state, she ensures that SHF has campaigns for health-freedom-related bills and petitions on our website and across social media, spreading the word to encourage people to contact their legislators. She builds campaigns, graphics, website pages, and relationships.

Bailey earned a design degree from Harrington Institute of Design in 2008. She then served as a production assistant on several shows for HGTV, followed by working behind the scenes on the X Factor, small indie films, music videos, and documentaries. Bailey joined Health Freedom Florida after moving to the East Coast, becoming co-president of the grassroots organization in 2019. While at Health Freedom Florida, she successfully filed a state bill designed to stop discrimination based on your health status. She joined SHF in the fall of 2020.

“God placed a calling on my heart back in 2008 to be a part of something bigger for Him. Twelve years later, the opportunity came knocking to help others lean into their natural-born rights and take a stand for themselves and their families. I knew this is where I was called to be, and I have never looked back.”

Valerie Borek


Valerie Borek is a passionate advocate for health rights and family privacy. A mother of two with degrees in law and biochemistry, she is perfectly positioned to lead SHF advocates through complex health-rights policy. Her work is guided by a love for American values, uncovering truth, and a passion for empowering others. Valerie has served as SHF’s policy analyst since 2021.

Valerie’s understanding of the value of freedom to make one’s own health care choices is not just academic. Health freedom has kept her boys alive and thriving. Her choice to have home births jump-started her advocacy for health privacy. Her eldest son survived a rare and deadly cancer because her family was able to navigate medical care while holding onto values that were sometimes at odds with recommendations.

Before joining SHF, Valerie specialized in health and parenting rights at her boutique law firm, especially surrounding birth and vaccine rights. She advocated for informed consent in health care and transparent food labeling in her state. She helped found the Birth Rights Bar Association and was honored to present their argument to the Delaware Supreme Court that midwifery is not the practice of medicine, in support of a trailblazing midwife.

“Health is the foundation of how we show up in this world to love, serve, and create. Americans are blessed to live in a country that gets stronger the more we protect fundamental rights, like informed consent and privacy, so individuals and families can thrive.”

Mary Katherine LaCroix


Mary Katherine LaCroix became involved with SHF as a volunteer in 2019 when the religious exemption for childhood vaccines was at risk in her home state of New Jersey. She believes strongly that parents have the responsibility for their children’s health, education, and faith formation and that only they have the right to make medical decisions and manage their care.

She has worked in fundraising for more than 25 years at various educational, cultural, human services, and political organizations. A graduate of the University of Scranton, she holds a degree in History and English Literature.

Mary Katherine is thrilled to have this opportunity to work with and help grow SHF, believing that together we can achieve even greater impact in protecting our rights and caring for our loved ones. She enjoys spending time with her husband, two children and large extended family, as well as volunteering to support the special needs community.

“Parents are taught that they must trust the experts. That’s what we did, until we learned that the experts can be wrong and don’t always know what is best for your child. Parents should instead feel empowered by their natural, God-given ability to advocate and care for their children. SHF is here to give them the tools to do just that.”

Sheila Ealey

Political Analyst

Dr. Sheila Lewis Ealey is the founder and former director of the Creative Learning Center of Louisiana, a therapeutic day school for children who are on the autism spectrum or struggling with other nonverbal intellectual disabilities. The wife of a former U.S. Coast Guard Officer, she is also the mother of four children. Her son was diagnosed with severe autism spectrum disorder at 18 months. He is now a young man and considered moderate and emerging.

Sheila and her twins were featured in the documentary “Vaxxed.” She has traveled extensively, advocating for medical freedom. She continues to educate disenfranchised parents about their fundamental rights to religious and philosophical exemptions, their ability to live sustainably on a limited budget, and the importance of nutrition and biomedical interventions for optimum health with autism. She also writes individual homeschool curriculums for parents of children with autism or intellectual disorders. Sheila is a trustee for the Autism Trust, USA, and on the board of directors of Children’s Health Defense.

Over the past 20 years, she has educated herself to use natural healing modalities for the body and brain. Her formal education includes degrees in communication, special education curriculum, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership in Special Education. Sheila serves as an assistant content advisor and political analyst for SHF.

“It is not the Constitution’s job to protect our liberties, as it is not a philosophical document but a legal one. Its purpose is to limit the powers and authority of our federal government in hopes of preventing an intrusion upon our unalienable rights. We are obliged to maintain our government within its limits.”

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