October 19, 2014

CDC head Tom Frieden

Tom Frieden Mr. Rogers
The dolt who heads the CDC, Tom Frieden, used to be NYC's health commissioner. Basically, he's Mr. Rogers in a lab coat. Frieden enacted every single item on Bloomburg's nanny-state list -- and did so with enthusiasm. He is a complete nitwit so I'm not surprised that he screwed up the early Ebola response. He's that kind of a fella.

Just to give you an idea of what his NYC "health" policies were like, let's talk cigarettes for a moment. At the time, I smoked four packs a day and was quite happy doing so.

Frieden, in a half-assed effort to stop fires caused by unwatched, lit cigarettes, removed the chemical that makes cigarettes burn in a steady fashion. In its place, he added a new thickness to the paper. So how did this play out on the ground (i.e., in smokers' lungs)? The cigarettes were much stronger after the change. They really whomped your lungs, in a way that cigarettes never did before. As a militant smoker, I was thrilled.

And then he arranged for the price of cigarettes to soar. This had a predictable effect: we now smoked our cigarettes down to the barest nub, which...uh, causes cancer. We had to because we couldn't afford to smoke casually anymore; it was too expensive. So we smoked with a new sense of determination, instilled in us by dear Dr. Frieden. In fact, many of us, myself included for a time, switched to non-filter cigarettes so we could smoke more of the cigarette. We didn't want those damned filters to get in the way. You should have seen us, smoking our unfiltered cigarettes until they were hardly there anymore. At times the tiny lit stub actually flew into my lungs as I tried to snatch that last puff.

That's what Tom Frieden did for cigarette smokers. So just imagine what he'll do for people with Ebola.

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