Thursday, September 21, 2023


“You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again that you did not know.”

— William Wilberforce

Potential Pick for CDC Director Continues to Draw Criticism

Mandy Cohen

In a public statement issued on June 16, 2023, President Biden announced his intent to name Mandy Cohen, MD, MPH to succeed Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH as the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The statement confirms a June 1 report by The Washington Post that the President was planning on picking Dr. Cohen, 44, to take over for Dr. Walensky.1 2 3 4 5

Media Misreports While House’s CDC Nominee Announcement

Interestingly, contrary to what has been reported in numerous media articles over the past two weeks, President Biden has not actually appointed Dr. Cohen to be the new CDC director—merely his intention to do so. Perhaps the best example of egregious reporting is the following headline in the Atlanta Business Chronicle: “Mandy Cohen confirmed as CDC’s new chief.” Then there is CNN’s misleading headline… “Biden taps Dr. Mandy Cohen for top role as next CDC director” and NBC News’ equally deceptive, “Biden picks North Carolina’s former health chief, Mandy Cohen, to run CDC.”6 7 8

Finally, there is Newsday’s outright false, “Dr. Mandy Cohen, new CDC director, left her mark in Baldwin when she was Mandy Krauthamer” and The Washington Times’ similarly false, “Biden formally picks Mandy Cohen to serve as next CDC director.9 10

You have to wonder if anyone who works at these news outlets even bothered to read the White House press release titled, “President Biden Announces Intent to Appoint Dr. Mandy Cohen as Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”4

Eventually, The New York Times staff got it right. Their headline correctly read: “Biden Says He Plans to Appoint Mandy Cohen as CDC Director.” As did UPI… “President Joe Biden intends to nominate Mandy Cohen as CDC director.”11 12

It appears that the appointment of Dr. Cohen may still be up in the air, which is odd. Otherwise, why not just outright announce the appointment, particularly given that Dr. Walensky’s last day on the job at CDC will be June 30? Why all the last minute suspense?

An article in The Washington Post published on June 16 noted that, according to officials, Dr. Cohen’s “first day at the CDC will be in early July,” which would seem to suggest that the appointment is a done deal. But the lack of a specific starting date may also indicate some degree of hesitation with the intended appointment. The article mentioned that Dr. Cohen “declined to comment on the announcement.” 1 2

Cohen Viewed as Partisan Political Player During Pandemic

One of the problems with choosing Dr. Cohen to head the CDC is that there is Republican opposition to the idea in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. As I mentioned in a recent opinion piece in The Vaccine Reaction, there is a feeling among some Republican legislators that Dr. Cohen is too much of  a partisan player in controversial COVID policies such as the lockdowns, forced masking and mandatory COVID vaccinations. This feeling was expressed in a letter to President Biden signed by 28 members of Congress on June 13…1 13

While Dr. Cohen claims to have acted on scientific data, her account of her decision- making during the pandemic suggests she merely arbitrarily copied actions of her colleagues in similar positions of power, without considering scientific evidence or the decisions of elected officials.13

The believed harm caused by lockdowns and COVID pandemic policies and their questionable benefits remains a subject of growing debate and division within the country. There is a sense by some that these policies were misguided and politically motivated and that, as a result, the CDC has lost considerable credibility and trust among Americans. This has led to a general consensus in the country that the CDC is in need of a major overhaul—a clear break from the culture at the agency that has eroded its standing during the pandemic.14 15 16

A ‘Fauci acolyte’?

The main objection to Dr. Cohn is that she is seen as being too closely aligned with the controversial COVID policies that have so damaged the agency she is favored to lead. As North Carolina’s Secretary of Health and Human Services (2017-2021), she enthusiastically backed the strictest COVID lockdown,  masking and other restrictions. In an article for the Foundation for Economic Education, Jon Miltimore describes Dr. Cohen as having “represented the worst of the COVID autocracy.” He characterizes her as a “Fauci acolyte.”17

In an article in New York’s City Journal, Carl Schramm writes:

President Biden’s choice of Walensky’s successor would seem to send another signal that improving the CDC holds little importance for the White House. The president’s nominee, Mandy Cohen, resembles her predecessor: she is a member of the clubby establishment of right-thinking officials who see their life’s work not so much as protecting public health as leveraging public-health threats, imaginary or otherwise, as justifications for imposing new rules about how others live their lives.18

Calls for “Cultural Overhaul” at CDC

“The CDC needs a cultural overhaul,” said U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana. Unfortunately, Dr. Cohen may just represent more of the same old culture at the agency that got much of the COVID science so wrong—a realization that is gradually surfacing within the medical and scientific communities.1 19 20 21 22

As medical student and researcher Kevin Bass wrote in Newsweek earlier this year:

I can see now that the scientific community from the CDC to the WHO to the FDA and their representatives, repeatedly overstated the evidence and misled the public about its own views and policies, including on natural vs. artificial immunity, school closures and disease transmission, aerosol spread, mask mandates, and vaccine effectiveness and safety, especially among the young. All of these were scientific mistakes at the time, not in hindsight. 19 

Epidemiologist and professor of medicine at Stanford University Jay Bhattacharya, MD, PhD added:

We endured three years of useless and divisive policies, including lockdowns, church and business closures, Zoom schools, mask mandates, and vaccine mandates and discrimination. 

Contrary to what you hear these days from those making poor decisions throughout the pandemic, many of the errors were not honest mistakes. Public health embraced positions at odds with the scientific evidence throughout the pandemic, for instance, by pretending that immunity after COVID recovery does not exist, and by overstating the ability of the vaccine to stop COVID infection and transmission. Despite many getting vaccinated, COVID spread and people died anyway, with tremendous collateral harm—both economic and in terms of public health—deriving from the favored policies of our public health institutions.23

“Someone in the confirmation hearing should ask the new @cdcgov director nominee about how she got the science so consequentially wrong,” Dr. Bhattacharya wrote on Twitter.24

That’s a great question for Dr. Cohen and for those who support her nomination for such an important and difficult post.

If you would like to receive an e-mail notice of the most recent articles published in The Vaccine Reaction each week, click here.

Click here to view References:

1 Cáceres M. CDC Director Nominee Declared “Unfit” for Politicizing Science. The Vaccine Reaction June 18, 2023.
2 Diamond D, Sun LH. Biden announces physician Mandy Cohen will lead CDC. The Washington Post June 16, 2023.
3 Huang P. Biden taps Mandy Cohen — former North Carolina health secretary — to lead CDC. NPR June 16, 2023.
4 Press Release. President Biden Announces Intent to Appoint Dr. Mandy Cohen as Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The White House June 16, 2023.
5 Weixel M. Biden selects Mandy Cohen as next CDC director. The Hill June 16, 2023.
6 Grapevine R. Mandy Cohen confirmed as CDC’s new chief. Atlanta Business Chronicle June 16, 2023.
7 Klein B. Biden taps Dr. Mandy Cohen for top role as next CDC director. CNN June 16, 2023.
8 Associated Press. Biden picks North Carolina’s former health chief, Mandy Cohen, to run CDC. NBC News June 16, 2023.
9 Werkmeister J. Dr. Mandy Cohen, new CDC director, left her mark in Baldwin when she was Mandy Krauthamer. Newsday June 17, 2023.
10 Howell T. Biden formally picks Mandy Cohen to serve as next CDC director. The Washington Times June 16, 2023.
11 Weiland N. Biden Says He Plans to Appoint Mandy Cohen as CDC Director. The New York Times June 16, 2023.
12 Hilsman P. President Joe Biden intends to nominate Mandy Cohen as CDC director. UPI June 16, 2023.
13 Congress of the United States. Budd-Biden-CDC-Director-Nomination. June 13, 2023.
14 Numerof R. How The CDC Can Restore Trust And Credibility. Forbes Sept. 12, 2022.
15 Pollard MS, Davis LM. Decline in Trust in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Rand Health June 2022; 9(3): 23.
16 Schramm C. CDC needs serious scrutiny to restore Americans’ trust in science. The Hill Mar. 8, 2022.
17 Miltimore J. How the New Pick to Lead the CDC Represented the Worst of the Covid Autocracy. Foundation for Economic Education June 12, 2023.
18 Schramm CJ. Can the CDC’s Reputation Be Restored? City Journal June 12, 2023.
19 Bass K. It’s Time for the Scientific Community to Admit We Were Wrong About COVID and It Cost Lives | Opinion. Newsweek Jan. 30, 2023.
20 Bardhan A. Why Did The CDC Get So Much About COVID-19 Wrong? Inverse Apr. 12, 2022.
21 McCaughey B. The CDC’s reign of error has done incalculable harm to America. New York Post Apr. 27, 2021.
22 Ogbunu CB. Scientists Need to Admit What They Got Wrong About Covid. Wired Apr. 1, 2021.
23 Bhattacharya J. The Power of Public Health Agencies Must Be Curbed. The Vaccine Reaction May 29, 2023.
24 Christenson J. Biden’s likely pick for new CDC director loosely followed her own COVID protocols, laughed off lockdowns. New York Post June 2, 2023.

12 Responses

    1. “Cultural overhaul.” That’s a new take right? / How about; It is prohibited for regulatory institutions to ever except a single penny from companies they regulate. And furthermore, it shall be prohibited for life, for any person working or advising a regulatory institution, to ever be, or ever have been, employed by, or have any financial investment, or financial interest, in the companies being regulated. Additionally, companies being regulated by government institutions shall be prohibited from hiring lobbyists except if the lobbyist is on a non paid volunteer basis. / Eliminating the ongoing bribery, special favors, financial incentives, and revolving door programs ought to bring about a healthy does of ‘cultural overhaul’ to those corrupt bastards manipulating the regulatory sectors within government.

  1. Many of us have been well aware of the unreliability of these institutions for a very long time. How people could have continued to believe in the lies espoused by the revolving door industry insiders lurking in the dark shadows of government buildings defies logic. Yet, here we are, reading the adventures of people whom just started paying attention. Better late than never. The entire CDC vaccine program, as well as the FCC’s wireless is safe, FDA’s take on pesticides and genetically modified foods, all a web of corporate lies. Every single position these institutions take is pro corporate and never benefits consumers. Despite endless studies performed outside of the US government which prove otherwise, these corrupted institutions now function as corporate protection mechanisms to assist big corporations in deflecting and avoiding liability. Basically the regulatory industry has caused far more harm than good, because every single institution is co opted, otherwise we would have sued these companies off the map through torts based systems a very long time ago. Poisonous protectionism and a continuance of taxation without representation. Although probably initially well intentioned, whenever government becomes involved, someone else steps in to take advantage of that imposed market force.

    Or as we like to say in our family; ‘The very last place we turn to for product safety advisement is the government.’ Rubber stamp approval for sale.

  2. Just like Fraudci, Cohen should be tried for crimes against humanity. Lockdowns, masks and approved treatment protocols were all the main contributing factors to deaths associated with C19.
    C19 did not kill hardly anyone without
    co-morbidities, just like the seasonal flu.

    1. My landlord’s son died of COVID. He was put on an ECMO machine. ECMO candidates such as him have no co-morbidities; relatively young, non-smoker, no diabetes, not overweight, healthy eater, supportive family. Eight weeks after they placed him on the machine they had to pull the plug even though he was consciously blinking his eyes in response to questions. I helped him move a couch in the garage and three months later I was at his funeral.

      “At Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, researchers analyzed the total number of patients referred for ECMO at the regional medical center between January 1, 2021 and August 31, 2021. While 43% of COVID-19 patients who received ECMO ultimately died, 90% of patients who qualified for ECMO but were unable to receive it died—despite both groups having young age and few health complications. As for its benefit: The risk of death among those who received ECMO was almost half that of those who were turned away. ”

  3. The CDC is a broken agency of which cannot be saved. It has to be dissolved of all connections to big pharma.

  4. The CDC is a fine institution that does many good things. Unfortunately the vaccine policy has been corrupted by Republicans beginning with the “Reagan Revolution” where all regulatory industries were turned over to private interests.

    Whatever criticism we may have regarding vaccine policy they have in fact been phasing out mercury so that’s something. There are people of conscience at the CDC like whistleblower Dr William Thompson for example.

    Our purpose on this website is to change vaccine policy, NOT to “tear it all down”.

    Anyone using such idiotic hyperbole hurts the credibility of our movement for vaccine safety.

    1. I’m in complete disagreement. The CDC is at least partially funded by PRIVATE monies. Therefore it is NOT a federal agency.

      And speaking of federal agencies, ALL federal alphabet agencies are UNconstitutional. The Constitution does NOT provide for a SINGLE, federal alphabet agency to EXIST, let alone tell anyone what to do or not to do. The federal gov’t has NO AUTHORITY to be involved in medical decisions or medical care. You are utterly incorrect in your assertions that the people do not have a right and a DUTY to “tear it all down.” Vaccines have NEVER been independently proven to be safe/effective. And even if they had been to anyone’s satisfaction, it still wouldn’t grant the federal gov’t authority it DOES NOT HAVE.

      Has anyone at NVIC been made aware you are the keeper of the credibility of “our movement” and approved your authority? I don’t know if you speak for NVIC, but if you do not speak on their behalf, then someone in authority from NVIC should respond to your comment.

  5. My wife and I endured the jeers from people in our town for choosing to have natural immunity over what now has to be seen as questionable immunity from MRNA vaccine. It seemed that all of our associates who went for early vaccine were the sickest people we knew after getting it. The hypocrisy was chilling.

  6. I leave this for those who think “credibility of our movement” is being hurt by “idiotic hyperbole”.
    Go to YT and the “HousatonicLive2” channel – the title of the video is: “Hatfill and Malone try to hide Ebola vax origin – But was Heinz Feldmann / Canada just a rinse?”
    I hope the moderator thinks this is important enough to show.

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