Top Senate Dem raises concerns over potential CDC pick

Top Senate Dem raises concerns over potential CDC pick
© Getty images

A top-ranking Senate Democrat said she was concerned about the Trump administration’s reported choice to lead the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayOvernight Health Care — Sponsored by America's 340B Hospitals — Dems blast rulemaking on family planning program | Facebook may remove anti-vaccine content | Medicare proposes coverage for new cancer treatment Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — Senators seek answers on surprise medical bills | Red states move to limit Medicaid expansion | Two drug companies agree to testify Senate Dems block Sasse measure meant to respond to Virginia bill MORE (D-Wash.), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, sent a letter to President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump nominates Jeffrey Rosen to replace Rosenstein at DOJ McCabe says ‘it’s possible’ Trump is a Russian asset McCabe: Trump ‘undermining the role of law enforcement’ MORE, saying she was worried about Robert Redfield’s lack of public health experience, as well as his controversial past as an AIDS researcher.

In the 1990s, Redfield was investigated for misrepresenting data to promote an AIDS vaccine that he was connected with. Earlier in his career, Redfield also advocated for policies like mandatory patient testing for HIV, and for segregating HIV-positive soldiers from the rest of the Army.

“This pattern of ethically and morally questionable behavior leads me to seriously question whether Dr. Redfield is qualified to be the federal government’s chief advocate and spokesman for public health,” Murray wrote.

According to multiple media outlets, Redfield is seen as the top choice to replace former CDC Director 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 resigned earlier this year after it was discovered that she had traded tobacco stocks while running the CDC.

Murray urged the White House to choose a different candidate: "instead seek a candidate whose experience and positions lend credibility to the nation’s critical public health work.”