Biden names Mandy Cohen to move CDC

dr Mandy Cohen, Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, speaks at a press conference at the Emergency Operations Center in Raleigh, North Carolina on Wednesday, November 10, 2021 to encourage parents of young children to receive emergency care for Covid -19 vaccination.

Bryan Anderson | AP

President Joe Biden said Friday he will Dr. Appoint Mandy Cohen to lead the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Cohen served as North Carolina Department of Health chief during the worst days of the Covid-19 pandemic. Previously, as a senior officer at the Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, she helped implement Affordable Care Act programs.

Cohen is a doctor of internal medicine.

“Dr. Cohen is one of the top physicians and health leaders in the country with experience leading large and complex organizations and a proven track record of protecting the health and safety of Americans,” Biden said in a statement Friday.

CDC directors do not currently require Senate confirmation. However, this will change in January 2025 due to legislation recently passed by Congress.

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Cohen’s appointment comes at a time when U.S. federal health leadership is in a transition period after the Covid-19 public health emergency ended last month.

dr Rochelle Walensky, the current CDC director, is stepping down later this month. She led the CDC through the launch of the Covid vaccine and the delta and omicron waves of Covid. In her resignation letter to Biden, Walensky referred to the end of the Covid emergency.

Cohen will take over a CDC that is undergoing a reorganization to address criticism that the agency has been slow to act during the pandemic and has often made health recommendations that have confused the public.

But the CDC isn’t the only health agency undergoing change.

dr Ashish Jha left the White House earlier this month after leading the Covid task force for more than a year.

And Biden recently hired Dr. Monica Bertagnolli appointed to lead the National Institutes of Health. She is currently director of the National Cancer Institute. The NIH has not had a Senate-approved leader as of December 2021.

Senator Bernie Sanders, chair of the Senate Health Committee, told the Washington Post earlier this week that he would reject Bertagnolli’s nomination until the president adopts a clear strategy to bring down drug prices.

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