Top Senate Dem raises concerns over potential CDC pick
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 Murray (D-Wash.), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, sent a letter to President Trump, 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 Fitzgerald, 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.”