Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden to Take Fun-Hating National

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Photo: Getty Images

Back when Bill Clinton was first running for president, we remember driving somewhere in rural Pennsylvania when we came across a small aluminum-sided house with a very large hand-lettered sign in the front yard that read, simply, "CLINTON WANTS YOUR MONEY, YOUR GUNS, AND YOUR WOMEN." At the time we laughed, but in retrospect: This turned out to be sort of true! We wonder what that guy's sign would have said for Barack Obama, because if it had been "BARACK OBAMA WANTS YOUR MONEY, YOUR GUNS, AND YOUR SALT," then that guy would have been prescient indeed.

Obama's chosen director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it was announced this morning, is none other than Thomas Frieden, the New York City health commissioner responsible for banning smoking and trans fats, forcing restaurants to post calorie counts, and most recently, harassing packaged-food and restaurant-chain owners to limit the amount of salt they use. These radical changes have been applauded by some, but others find his passion for the job somewhat disturbing. “Frieden doesn’t simply blur the line between what is the government’s responsibility in regulating health and what is the individual’s responsibility; he barely recognizes its existence,” the Center for Consumer Freedom's Justin Wilson told Bloomberg today. He's an “overzealous activist who doesn’t give any consideration to the importance of personal responsibility or privacy.”

At the CDC one imagines Frieden's power will be expanded to dangerous levels. Soon we'll all look like this! World, take it from us here in New York. Forget about stashing cash in your mattress, and start stockpiling Funyuns.

Frieden, New York Health Chief, Picked to Head CDC [Bloomberg]