Washington, D.C. — Senator Ted Budd (R-NC) has co-led a letter to President Biden opposing the nomination of Dr. Mandy Cohen to be the next director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The letter was signed by six U.S. Senators and 22 House members.
According to recent news reports, you intend to appoint Dr. Mandy Cohen as the next Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We write to express our opposition to Dr. Cohen’s appointment and to urge you to withdraw your reported selection.
Dr. Cohen is unfit for the position. Dr. Cohen has politicized science, disregarded civil liberties, and spread misinformation about the efficacy and necessity of COVID vaccinations and the necessity of masks, during her time as the Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. She also has a history of engaging in partisan left-wing politics.
As Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Dr. Cohen was a proponent of unnecessary, unscientific COVID restrictions on school children, stating in July 2021 that “Schools with students in K-8th grade should require all children and staff to wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status. Schools with students in 9th-12th grades should ensure that anyone who isn’t fully vaccinated, including students, wear a mask indoors.” After a North Carolina school district followed the science by declining to institute unscientific mask mandates and voted with an overwhelming majority to end “contact tracing” and curtail other unproven and largely hysterical quarantine policies, Dr. Cohen threatened to bring legal action against the district. Dr. Cohen’s willingness to threaten the school district put politics over the well-being of children and is just another example of the litany of public health abuses the American people endured at the hands of bureaucrats throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
While Dr. Cohen claims to have acted on scientific data, her account of her decision-making during the pandemic indicates that she merely arbitrarily copied her friends’ actions in similar positions of power, without considering scientific evidence or the decisions of elected officials. For instance, she recounted a conversation with the Secretary of Health and Human Services in Massachusetts, the person whom Dr. Cohen claimed she “called the most” for advice on COVID policy: “I’d be like, so when are you going to think about lightening up on masks? [she’d be like] ‘Next Monday’ and I’d be like ‘Okay! Next Monday.’”
To further illustrate the point, in August 2020, Dr. Cohen publicly sported a Dr. Fauci-themed cloth mask, asserting that “face coverings are one of our strongest tools to slow the spread of COVID-19”. This was despite scientific data showing that face coverings largely fail to stop the spread of COVID-19, including experts finding that “we continue to conclude that cloth masks and face coverings are likely to have limited impact on lowering COVID-19 transmission.”
Despite being tasked to serve in a purportedly nonpartisan agency, Dr. Cohen has an extensive history of publicly campaigning for Democrats and supporting radical, left-wing policies. In 2009, she served as the National Outreach Director for the group “Doctors for Obama,” later known as “Doctors for America,” a partisan political association that not only campaigned for Obama’s presidency but also endorsed an unconstitutional ban on semi-automatic rifles and lobbied to classify climate change as a “public health crisis.” 10 She also participated in the misleading “White Coat Rally” at the White House supporting Obamacare as a tense debate raged and as recently as August of 2022 hosted fundraisers for Democrats running for office.
Given her strong affiliation with the Democrat Party and the COVID-19 lockdowns, it will be difficult for the American people to trust Dr. Cohen to run the CDC as a nonpartisan actor who makes objective decisions rooted in scientific data, and not in political expediency. Therefore, we urge you to reverse course on Dr. Cohen’s reported appointment to the Director of the CDC.