Dem senator demands answers on CDC director's high salary

Dem senator demands answers on CDC director's high salary
© Greg Nash

Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayCriminal justice groups offer support for Durbin amid fight for Judiciary spot National reading, math tests postponed to 2022 amid coronavirus surge Democratic anger rises over Trump obstacles to Biden transition MORE (D-Wash.) is pressing Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar for answers on the unusually high salary of Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

In a letter to Azar on Friday, Murray, the top Democrat on the Senate Health Committee, voiced concern about Redfield's salary, which is nearly double what his predecessor at the agency made, and asked for a briefing on the matter. 

"It is difficult to understand why someone with limited public health experience, particularly in a leadership role, is being disproportionately compensated for his work," Murray wrote in the letter. 


It's not the first time Murray has raised questions about Redfield.

Before he took office, Murray wrote to President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him Biden: Trump attending inauguration is 'of consequence' to the country Biden says family will avoid business conflicts MORE expressing concerns about Redfield's lack of public health experience as well as his controversial past as an AIDS researcher.

An Associated Press report this week revealed that Redfield is making far more than his predecessors at the CDC, and nearly twice as much as Brenda FitzgeraldBrenda FitzgeraldThe hollowing out of the CDC Overnight Health Care: Drug company under scrutiny for Michael Cohen payments | New Ebola outbreak | FDA addresses EpiPen shortage CDC director to take pay cut of more than 5k MORE, who helmed the agency before him.

Redfield is being paid $375,000 a year to run the CDC, while Fitzgerald made $197,300 annually.

Redfield is also earning more than Azar, his boss. Azar’s salary is set by law, but Redfield is paid under a program intended to draw in health scientists with rare and critical skills to government work.