Prez Taps NYC Health Head to Lead CDC
Frieden will steer country's response to swine flu
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 15, 2009 7:48 AM CDT
New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden, left, updates the media on the swine flu as Mayor Michael Bloomberg listens in New York Thursday, April 30, 2009.   (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
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(Newser) – President Obama today appointed Dr. Thomas Frieden as director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, turning to New York City's health commissioner to deal with the swine flu outbreak and other major health issues. Frieden has served as commissioner for the past 7 years, where he led a campaign to ban smoking in bars, boosted the number of New Yorkers getting HIV tests, and helped distribute millions of free condoms.

In a statement announcing Frieden's appointment, Obama said the new CDC chief had been a "leader in the fight for health care reform, and his experiences confronting public health challenges in our country and abroad will be essential in this new role." Frieden will inherit a looming decision on how best to manage a swine flu outbreak, including whether or how to produce a swine flu vaccine.