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 MurrayEXCLUSIVE: Swing-state voters oppose 'surprise' medical bill legislation, Trump pollster warns Overnight Health Care: Juul's lobbying efforts fall short as Trump moves to ban flavored e-cigarettes | Facebook removes fact check from anti-abortion video after criticism | Poll: Most Democrats want presidential candidate who would build on ObamaCare Trump's sinking polls embolden Democrats to play hardball 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 TrumpTrump conversation with foreign leader part of complaint that led to standoff between intel chief, Congress: report Pelosi: Lewandowski should have been held in contempt 'right then and there' Trump to withdraw FEMA chief nominee: report 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.