What do New York City Health Department Commissioner Thomas Farley and President Barack Obama have in common? Far, far too much, it is beginning to seem. It is even beginning to look more like an act of Obama-ordained “providence” and less a coincidence that Farley’s appointment to the job in 2009 came on the heels of Obama’s selection of Farley’s predecessor, Thomas Frieden, to head up the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
Perhaps in an act of gratitude, Farley has in his brief tenure as City Health Department Commissioner taken page after page out of Obama’s “Big Brother Know Best” playbook. Practically before the ink on his contract was dry, Farley was busypassing stringent new guidelines on the amounts of salt that can be used in specific restaurant and store-bought foods. Like Obama, a man of many words, Farleyassured city residents in a lengthy statement that “[t]he New York City Department of Health is coordinating a voluntary effort to improve Americans’ heart health by cutting the salt in packaged and restaurant foods.” Notice the artful use of ObamaSpeak in that one sentence alone. The effort is voluntary, but it is implemented through mandates.