Principles of public communication:— James Fallows (@JamesFallows) May 17, 2021
1) Tell them what you’re going to say
2) Say it
3) Tell them what you said
Not applied in this instance, to put it mildly.
This is not a question of over- or underreacting (though the CDC has remarkably managed to do both). It's not a matter of taking the wrong positions (they've generally gotten the science right). The problem is that when it comes to crafting messages or setting up incentives or predicting public reactions, they are, to put it bluntly, spectacularly bad at their job.
P.S. Nor is this generally a good sign