CDC Director Better At Viruses Than Viral Marketing

Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Dr. Thomas Frieden appeared on this week’s edition of the NPR quiz show “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me.”  He’s not the first science and technology official from the Obama Administration to appear on the program.  Energy Secretary Steven Chu appeared on the program in 2010.

As was the case when Secretary Chu appeared, Dr. Frieden was there (the show was visiting Atlanta, where the CDC is located) to play “Not My Job” where the guest is asked trivia questions about something completely different from their day job.  In Frieden’s case this was viral marketing.  You’ll have to hear the show (or just his segment) to find out how well he did.

The rest of the interview, besides suggesting that many CDC employees were in the audience to support their boss, managed to discuss what the CDC does with a bit of good humor and what might be the CDC’s own viral marketing – the recent announcement that the organization was not aware of any zombie outbreaks.  The thinking is that being prepared for zombies makes it easier to be prepared for other forms of disaster.  And while neither are likely to be invited to dinner, zombies are more popular than viruses.


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