CDC Chief To Be Replaced With Obama Veteran

( – One way of describing the Biden administration’s approach to staffing agencies might be a commitment to recycling. According to sources familiar with the issue, Biden will appoint Obama-era health official Mandy Cohen to head the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as director Rochelle Walensky departs the position.

Cohen formerly served as the health secretary for North Carolina and has long been a player in Democratic party politics. The sources told Politico the appointment is not final, but will likely be announced in July. 

Cohen recently had meetings with federal officials such as the White House chief of staff Jeff Zients and Xavier Becerra, health secretary, to talk about the position. 

It seems uncertain that a Cohen appointment would be met with anything but skepticism from a large number of Americans and lawmakers displeased with the CDC’s response to the pandemic. Under outgoing director Walensky’s tenure, there is evidence that the CDC crafted public school closure policy based on lobbying by the biggest teacher’s unions rather than on scientifically sound analysis. 

In addition, Walenksy’s CDC vastly exceeded its authority by imposing a national eviction moratorium that forced landlords to allow tenants who refused to pay to stay in their rental units anyway. This was offered on “public health” grounds, but a court later ruled the move illegal. No provision was made to assist landlords who still had to pay taxes and property maintenance even though tenants were living for free. 

Biden had originally picked Walensky in what the White House said was a bid to restore trust in the federal health policy institution. That did not pan out, as critics noticed the CDC’s waffling and constant changes of mind on issues such as masking and the efficacy and importance of vaccines. 

Mandy Cohen oversaw North Carolina’s pandemic response until 2022. While serving under President Obama, Cohen was deeply involved in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, known commonly as “Obamacare”. 

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