It is unfortunate that President Obama has chosen to put the nation’s health in the hands of an overzealous activist who doesn’t seem to give any consideration to the importance of personal responsibility or privacy (“Obama selecting N.Y. official to lead CDC,’ Page A8, May 15). Dr. Thomas Frieden, New York City health commissioner, 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 Obama’s pick to lead the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention? 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.

Senior research analyst

Center for Consumer Freedom