It is unfortunate that President Obama chose to put the nation’s health in the hands of an overzealous activist who doesn’t give any consideration to the importance of personal responsibility or privacy (“Crusading NY health chief who fought smoking and trans fats is picked to be new CDC director,” Chicagotribune.com, May 15).

Dr. Thomas Frieden famously told the Financial Times that “when anyone dies at an early age from a preventable cause in New York City, it’s my fault.” What constitutes a “preventable cause” for Frieden? Essentially any behavior that he personally disapproves of, including eating salty or fatty foods, “insufficient” breast-feeding, and using birth control that isn’t city-approved. Following his myriad regulations in New York City, the New York Post quipped that Frieden had turned the city into “a nanny state on steroids.”

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.

J. Justin Wilson

Senior Research Analyst, Center for Consumer Freedom

Washington D.C.