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Should Dr. Nirav Shah be tapped as the next director of the federal CDC?

Dr. Nirav Shah, the infectious disease expert who led Maine through the COVID-19 pandemic, is being floated as the next director of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Nirav Shah, director of Maine’s CDC, speaks to the media on Feb. 10, 2020, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Phelan/Kennebec Journal file

The current U.S. CDC chief, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, is scheduled to leave the post in June. U.S. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, said recently he plans to formally recommend Shah be hired for the nation’s top infectious disease expert job. Shah, who is originally from Wisconsin and the son of Indian immigrants, joined the U.S. CDC as Walensky’s deputy director in March, after serving as Maine’s CDC director since 2019.

During the pandemic, Shah became a familiar face to Mainers through regular COVID briefings, using a relatable, down-to-earth manner to convey complicated topics while urging people to help contain the virus. Shah held daily or near-daily news conferences that were broadcast to the general public, often infusing his talks with humor and pop culture references, gaining him something of celebrity status that sparked merchandise and fan groups.

But what do you think? Should Shah be hired as the next director of the federal CDC? Tell us in the poll and in the comments below.

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