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Ted Cruz torches Biden’s new CDC pick

By Sarah May on
 July 2, 2023

President Joe Biden has tapped Dr. Mandy Cohen as the next head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), though that decision has since drawn significant criticism, with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) recently making his own feelings on the matter crystal clear, as the Daily Wire reports.

Specifically, Cruz shared a video on Thursday in which Cohen's pandemic policies during her time as secretary of North Carolina's Department of Health and Human Services were subjected to a biting musical parody.

Biden Taps Cohen

Several weeks ago, Biden officially announced Cohen as his pick to replace departing CDC head Rochelle Walensky, and in doing so, he touted her experience at the helm of the Tar Heel State's pandemic response, as NPR noted at the time.

“Dr. Cohen is one of the nation's top physicians and health leaders,” Biden began.

The president continued, stating that Cohen “has been recognized by leaders from both parties” for what he called “her ability [to] find common ground and put complex policy into action.”

However, as Cruz's Thursday social media post emphasizes, he is certainly a member of the bipartisan coalition Biden seems to believe is in support of his choice.

“Masking Queen”

Taking to Twitter to express his views, Cruz wrote, “Meet Mandy Cohen, the Biden administration's 'Masking Queen.'”

The senator continued, “She's laughed off lockdowns, fangirled about Fauci, pushed mask mandates on school kids, and supported more government control over your life and health decisions. She's wholly unfit to lead the CDC. WATCH.”

Set to the tune of popular ABBA song “Dancing Queen,” the video takes direct aim at Cohen's promulgation of strict COVID-19 policies that have since been called into serious question.

Record Slammed

As the New York Post noted separately, much of the criticism directed at Biden's choice of Cohen to lead the CDC stems from her history as a zealous advocate of pandemic policies that have since been discredited or decried as unnecessary or even harmful.

For instance, Cohen declared to the public in June of 2021 that COVID-19 vaccination prevented transmission of the virus as well as any breakthrough cases, assertions now widely acknowledged as false. She also promoted compulsory use of cloth masks to halt infectious spread, a technique even the CDC has since deemed ineffective.

Stanford professor Jay Bhattacharya, a frequent critic of masks, lockdowns, and mandated vaccination, remarked on the news of Cohen's imminent ascension to CDC leadership that someone ought to ask her directly “how she got the science so consequentially wrong.”

“A good response [would be] 'I'll surround myself with scientists with a diverse set of views so it doesn't happen again,” Bhattacharya added.

Criticism Mounts

Cruz and Bhattacharya are far from the only ones questioning the wisdom of Biden's selection of Cohen to lead the CDC, particularly in light of the sharp decline in the number of Americans who trust the agency now as compared to before the pandemic.

As the Post explained, Charlotte, North Carolina radio personality said of the incumbent director, “When we were at our most frightened, Cohen was there to infantilize us and treat us as the children she sees us as,” an apparent reference to restrictions she championed that curtailed alcohol sales after 9:00 p.m. instead of 11:00 p.m. and limited the number of individuals who could gather indoors.

Journalist Alex Berenson was even more direct in his disdain for Cohen, saying that she has “heartily supported every authoritarian measure that the last three years have proven useless. Of course, to the White House, her views are a feature, not a bug.”

Though the role of CDC director does not currently require Senate confirmation, according to Roll Call, it is clear that Cohen is poised to face serious scrutiny from lawmakers wishing to see massive reforms at an agency many believe to have mismanaged the pandemic in some very egregious ways.