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 MurrayOvernight Health Care: Poll finds most Americans misunderstand scope of 'Medicare for All' | Planned Parenthood chief readies for 2020 | Drugmakers' lawsuit ramps up fight with Trump Overnight Health Care: Poll finds most Americans misunderstand scope of 'Medicare for All' | Planned Parenthood chief readies for 2020 | Drugmakers' lawsuit ramps up fight with Trump Trump's health care focus puts GOP on edge 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. 

ADVERTISEMENT

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

Before he took office, Murray wrote to President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP senator introduces bill to hold online platforms liable for political bias Rubio responds to journalist who called it 'strange' to see him at Trump rally Rubio responds to journalist who called it 'strange' to see him at Trump rally 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 FitzgeraldOvernight 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 CDC director asks for salary reduction after questions raised 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.