This story was originally published by the WND News Center.
The CDC will soon recommend annual COVID shots, much like the current annual flu shots, said Dr. Mandy Cohen, the embattled federal health agency's new director, in an interview Thursday.
President Biden picked Cohen, the former head of North Carolina's Department of Health and Human Services, to replace the controversy-prone Rochelle Walensky to head the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost a month ago despite Republicans' objections.
Asked by a Spectrum reporter if the CDC was moving toward recommending one COVID shot per year for Americans, Cohen said, “Well, we’re just on the precipice of that, so I don’t want to get ahead of where our scientists are here ... but yes, we anticipate that what COVID will become is similar to flu shots, where it's going to be: you get your annual flu shot and you get your annual COVID shot.”
"We're not quite there yet. But stay tuned: I think in the next couple of weeks to a month we're going to hear more from our experts on COVID shots. But we expect a booster coming for this fall and winter season," Cohen said. "We've got to remember: the flu is circulating, RSV [respiratory syncytial virus] is circulating and COVID is circulating. But the good news is we have vaccines and treatment for all. We just need to use these tools."
Cohen said "early to mid-September is probably when we'll have the official guidance" on COVID. "But everyone should expect in this fall time to get a COVID shot and certainly to get a flu shot."
A Spectrum reporter wrote in June: "Fortunately for Cohen, the CDC is not a position subject to congressional confirmation." That is certainly true, as 21 House members and seven senators, including Ted Budd, representing Cohen's home state of North Carolina, wrote to Biden in June urging him to pull her nomination, citing her COVID policy actions in the state and her "history of engaging in partisan left-wing politics."
In their July 13 letter urging Biden to withdraw Cohen's then-upcoming appointment, the 28 Capitol Hill lawmakers wrote that "Dr. Cohen is unfit for the position" at CDC.
"Throughout her career, Dr. Cohen has politicized science, disregarded civil liberties, and spread misinformation about the efficacy and necessity of COVID vaccinations and the necessity of masks during her time as the secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. She also has a history of engaging in partisan left-wing politics," they wrote.
"As secretary of the North Carolina [HHS], Dr. Cohen was a proponent of unnecessary, unscientific COVID restrictions on school children, stating in July 2021 that “Schools with students in K-8th grade should require all children and staff to wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status. Schools with students in 9th-12th grades should ensure that anyone who isn’t fully vaccinated, including students, wear a mask indoors,” the letter continued.
"After a North Carolina school district followed the science by declining to institute unscientific mask mandates and voted with an overwhelming majority to end 'contact tracing' and curtail other unproven and largely hysterical quarantine policies, Dr. Cohen threatened to bring legal action against the district. Dr. Cohen’s willingness to threaten the school district put politics over the well-being of children and is just another example of the litany of public health abuses the American people endured at the hands of bureaucrats throughout the COVID-19 pandemic," The letter, whose signers included Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Mike Lee, R-Utah, stated.
Nevertheless, in the Spectrum interview, Cohen said trust among North Carolinians grew during her tenure and said the CDC job offer gave her the "opportunity to continue the work we were doing in North Carolina."
Asked, "Should school districts be requiring COVID vaccinations?" Cohen responded by saying different communities will approach COVID shots in different ways, but "what we want to focus on is giving everyone the information they need to make good, common-sense solutions."
Cohen, a mother of two girls who come off as more folksy than her predecessor Walensky, sounded in the Spectrum interview very much like an advocate for COVID shots for young kids. But she kept the focus on measles vaccination, a less controversial subject than the experimental mRNA shots: "We want folks to know that there are serious illnesses that vaccines have prevented for many, many years -- things like measles."
The Epoch Times, in covering the Spectrum interview, reported: "The director, a strong proponent of the vaccines, didn't offer any safety or efficacy data or any other details but said she worries 'about parents not vaccinating kids' against COVID-19 and other viruses."
The CDC did not respond to questions emailed to Cohen, "including what it would say to critics who note that there's a lack of clinical trial data supporting the shots," according to Epoch Times.
"Without that data, 'you can't really say what the potential benefit to people is,' Dr. David McCune, an oncologist, told the Times. "[McCune] noted that instead of efficacy data from trials, officials have been relying on antibody measurements, animal experiments, and observational studies to see whether the vaccines are effective. Observational data indicate the protection – against both infection and severe illness – wanes considerably within months, some papers have found that the more doses one receives, the more likely they are to be infected."
A June 16 Epoch Times report on Cohen laid out her North Carolina record, which is in line with other states that applied overbearing mandates and policies for fighting COVID: "Cohen repeatedly promoted COVID-19 vaccines while in North Carolina's government while, typical of health officials, downplaying concerns about side effects. ... On Jan. 14, 2021, shortly after the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines were authorized, Cohen said in a statement: 'It's time to take action NOW. Stay home if you can. Avoid crowds. Wear your mask. Wash your hands. And when it's your spot, take your shot.'"
"She later said that she was 'protected against COVID' after receiving the since-pulled Johnson & Johnson vaccine and alleged the vaccines protected against getting infected and transmission," according to Epoch Times. But even when the FDA reported that the COVID vaccines failed to provide evidence for protection against infection or transmission, and when "evidence began emerging that the protection from the vaccines was waning," Cohen said they were 'remarkably effective.'"
According to the Times, in late 2021 Cohen was still denying there were any "serious side effects" from the COVID vaccines detected in the trials, but "by that time, officials around the world had linked potentially-fatal blood clotting to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and heart inflammation to the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines."
She also repeated the claim that vaccinated people were "much, much less likely to spread COVID," which later become the target of worldwide mockery as many COVID shot recipients contracted COVID.
"After the Pfizer vaccine was authorized for children aged 5 to 11, Cohen said parents should know that 'kids are vulnerable to COVID' and that they should 'take advantage' of the 'safe' and 'effective' vaccine," Epoch Times reported. "She also supported COVID-19 vaccine mandates, claiming that 'vaccinations are our way out of the pandemic,' and helped punish businesses that defied Gov. Roy Cooper's lockdown orders."
To the left of WHO?
Just the News reported in March that even the World Health Organization is scaling back COVIC vaccination recommendations for children: "The U.S. one-size-fits-all COVID-19 vaccine policy, which recommends 'up to date' inoculation at all ages regardless of risk level and provides the basis for ongoing mandates in low-risk settings, has become an even bigger international outlier."
The WHO's "Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization," or SAGE, is removing "healthy children and adolescents" from its default recommendations for primary series and booster shots, according to an official "highlights" summary from its meetings the week of March 20," JTN reported. "Recurring boosters beyond the first are no longer recommended by default for the 'medium risk group' of healthy adults under 60 and children and adolescents with comorbidities. SAGE said those should be targeted to older adults, younger adults with 'significant comorbidities,' immunocompromised individuals, frontline healthcare workers, and pregnant women."
Asked by Spectrum what she wants people to think of when they hear about the CDC, Cohen said: "I want them to think that there is a trusted partner out there who is looking out for me, who's looking to protect my health ... being my trusted partner and giving me ... good, accurate information that helps me with common-sense solutions to protect myself, my family and my community."