Tom Frieden, who was New York City’s Health Commissioner before tapped by Barack Obama to head the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been arrested and charged with sexual assault.
Tom Frieden, who led the CDC for eight years during the Obama administration, was charged this morning with sex abuse, forcible touching and harassment, according to a spokeswoman for the New York City Police Department.
Frieden, who also led New York City’s health department for eight years under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, turned himself in this morning. A law enforcement official said he is accused of grabbing the buttocks of a 55-year-old woman in October.
I have met Frieden a couple of times. He’s the consummate and quintessential public health professional. He’s a hardcore lefty who will take away anything he thinks you might misuse or eat too much of because he wants you to be better than you are. But he’s a lefty of of the true believer variety, not the political-aggrandizing-of-power type of scum. If Frieden decided to start the tumbrels rolling to the guillotine it would be because he really thought he was creating a better world and he’d probably be a little sad and disappointed that you were not happy about doing your part. Sometimes a guy will give off a vibe that says he’s hunting, that his staff are like a sexual smorgasbord…not Frieden. He got excited about tuberculosis and pandemic flu and smallpox as a terror weapon, but he’s the last person you’d think of as playing a pick-up game of a grab-ass. Not only did he not have rumors floating about him in NYC, there were none trailing him when he left, and he wasn’t the subject of rumors in Atlanta where gossiping about and maligning CDC directors is nearly an official sport on the CDC campus. Apparently, the woman involved is not an employee of his organization and she is a friend of some thirty years. I don’t know what that means but when n=1 (at this point) and she’s a long time friend, the door is open to a variety of scenarios.
Obviously, Frieden is guilty because he’s been accused and that is 100% of the proof needed these days and only a misogynist would disagree with that.
The only saving grace to all of this is that this fire lit by the #MeToo bunch is beginning to burn hottest and brightest on the left. I don’t think its because people on the right are any more upright than other folks, I think that people on the right have just baked the possibility of being denounced for crimes against humanity into their behavior while the left is, for the first time, are being targeted for actual punishment instead of getting the Roman Polanski treatment. If Frieden did what is alleged it was wrong and caddish, but it, in my opinion, does not rise the level of a law enforcement agency and the criminal justice apparatus getting involved. We are not a better or stronger or more equitable society for allowing this to happen.
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