Biden set to appoint Physician Mandy Cohen as CDC director

Dr. Mandy Cohen, COO and chief of staff of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Dr. Mandy Cohen, COO and chief of staff of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

OAN’s Noah Herring
4:03 PM – Thursday, June 1, 2023

President Biden has reportedly set his sights on former North Carolina Health Secretary Mandy Cohen to lead the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), according to three anonymous sources who have direct knowledge about the pending announcement. 


Cohen is looking to replace current CDC Director Rochelle Walensky who had announced that she is stepping down last month, departing from the agency on June 30th

Cohen and her team have reportedly been focused on the COVID-19 pandemic, building up an efficient medicaid program, childhood health, safety, education, and combating the opioid crisis, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services website. 

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra purportedly spoke with Cohen this week to congratulate her on the selection. A formal announcement from the president is expected later this month, after paperwork is finalized, according to the three anonymous sources. 

Her position as CDC director does not require Senate confirmation, however, Cohen is expected to be questioned by Congress with House Republicans launching multiple probes into the “CDC’s failures in fulfilling its mission.”

The CDC “has broken the American people’s trust through its mismanagement of recent responses, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Reps. Cathay McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) and H. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) in a statement.

The CDC has also drawn much criticism from Republicans for moving too slowly to encourage the return of in-person class sessions. 

Before her time in North Carolina, Cohen was chosen by President Barrack Obama to be the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Staff at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and had a prominent role in managing provisions of the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obama-care.”

Biden officials had reportedly considered Cohen for senior roles in the administration previously and many speculated Cohen would be Biden’s pick to run CMS. 

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