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Dr. Mandy Cohen: Biden picks next CDC director

Dr. Mandy Cohen: Biden picks next CDC director
Dr. Mandy Cohen: Biden picks next CDC director

 




CNN

President Joe Biden intends to appoint Dr. Mandy Cohen to head the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the White House has confirmed to CNN exclusively, as the agency grapples with challenges in the aftermath of COVID-19. He announced that he would succeed Dr. Rochelle Wallensky in a key public health role. Pandemic.

“Dr. Cohen is one of America’s top physicians and health leaders with experience leading large and complex organizations and a track record of protecting the health and safety of the American public,” said Biden. said in a statement originally shared with CNN.

And with Cohen taking on an increasingly politicized role at the CDC, Biden heralded her ability to work across the aisles.

“Dr. Cohen is recognized by leaders of both parties for his ability to find common ground and implement complex policies. We look forward to working with Dr. Cohen, who leads the experts,” the president said.

Cohen will soon resign. Role in the private sectorpreviously served as Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, where he oversaw the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the Trump and Biden administrations and also oversaw a significant shift in the state’s Medicaid program. She previously served as Chief Operating Officer and Chief of Staff for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and worked closely with Jeff Zientz, now the White House Chief of Staff, to support the Affordable Care Act. made efforts to introduce a medical insurance exchange system for

Following the announcement, Xientz praised Mr. Cohen’s management skills, saying in a statement: Cohen will step into full force as the leader of the world’s premier public health agency that saves lives every day. She is an excellent manager, gets the job done, and is the trusted voice the American public wants to hear. ”

Cohen received his medical degree from Yale University School of Medicine and his master’s degree in public health from Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. She is a physician and has worked in state and federal government.

Cohen chose The Washington Post first reported.

Mr. Wallenski announced last month that he was stepping down from government roles, days before the COVID-19 public health emergency was lifted. Her last day at the CDC will be June 30th.

As he prepares to take on the role, Cohen takes over an office plagued by challenges and demoralization. According to one report, the CDC is in a “moment of crisis” and creating a “strong, effective and more accountable” agency is a national security imperative. report From the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) “Committee on Strengthening America’s Health Security,” released earlier this year.

Those who have worked with Cohen describe her as adept at building relationships across political spheres, and a person who cares about crises and challenges. She cites her experience running Healthcare.gov during the Obama administration and her experience working across the aisle in North Carolina during the Obama administration. she’s a pandemic

“She doesn’t run away from challenges. It also includes the truth about whether you’re doing things and whether you’re doing your job.” Andy Slavitt, a former Biden adviser who worked with Cohen when he was a CMS administrator, said that Cohen said he was Cohen’s chief of staff.

“Not only is she a participant in the solution, she is also able to sit at the top of the problem and have enough perspective. Yes,” Slavit added.

Cohen won the praise of former Republican Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina.

“She has all the tools, she has real experience, she knows what she has to do. And she has the intelligence to know how to do it. I’ve seen Mandy make the tough decisions firsthand in the state, and I can’t remember a time in public health when every health decision made system-wide had such a bright spotlight. I don’t think it’s ever happened before,” Barr told CNN in a phone interview.

At the time of leading the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services through the pandemic, Barr said: A mixed resume from there. She gave 100% effort. I think it’s because she didn’t say anything political. “She called balls and strikes based on what’s best for health care for North Carolinians,” he said.

But the CDC has become significantly more politicized in recent years, and Cohen is arguing for funding the agency, especially in an expected tough battle for government funding this fall. would have to

“It’s a political job. This is a job where you have to pay attention to the people who fund you and fund you properly, the voters and the people who are voters, because they are these people.” Because we need to understand that institutions support our livelihoods,” Slavit said.

Cohen added that she was “loved” on both sides of North Carolina with a willingness to listen and described her as “extremely politically adept” before testifying before the Capitol and at the White House. He added that it is an essential skill set when working with and communicating with states. In the role of CDC.

North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, who led the state’s response, said Cohen “believes it’s important to have insight and transparency into the challenges to build consensus and find solutions.” “She knows how doctors, regulators and even lawmakers think and work.” ”

Cohen has criticized the CDC’s early response to COVID-19 during the Trump administration.

“It was a crisis. No one is perfect in a crisis. . conversation In an interview with the Center for Health Sector Management at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, he noted the state’s efforts to build trust and said, “Humble what we did and what we didn’t know. said,’ he said.

“Sometimes I can’t articulate how the CDC should give advice, and at the same time say, ‘We’re learning and we’re observing the science happening here in real time.’ Sometimes I feel like I didn’t communicate clearly, like this is the best answer I can give you today…but in two weeks it might be different.” did,” she said.

Cohen continued, “There are a lot of great scientists and thinkers at the CDC who didn’t have the operational capability that was needed,” adding that states needed to “fill that void.” .

While the role is currently a political appointment, Barr will lead the push for recently passed legislation to bring his Senate-approved role into effect in 2025, and will prepare for his successor on a CDC ship. It is intended to test Cohen’s ability to stabilize .

“She will be a bridge between the times when we don’t need it and the times when we do. Just as you will be judged, you will be judged based on your ability to launch the CDC,” Barr said.

Mr. Cooper expressed a similar opinion. Cooper, who took charge of the state health department, said, “She gave employees a new hope, a vision, a plan of action, and brought the health department back to what it was supposed to be and even better. I think you’ll find yourself in a similar situation at the CDC, we know the agency is under attack and she knows what to do to give her employees confidence. And I think she knows, and she’s also good at dealing with outside forces because there are a lot of challenges.”

Cohen will start his new position next month.

Sources

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2/ https://www.cnn.com/2023/06/16/politics/dr-mandy-cohen-cdc-director/index.html

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