The CDC, or, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has a new sheriff, or, “chief.” Robert Redfield is Trump’s latest big appointee and will take the helm as Chief of the CDC.
Redfield hasn’t even worked a day at the helm and he’s already embroiled in a controversy that dates back to his days as a lead scientist on a number of HIV vaccine trials. Washington Senator Patty Murray, the ranking Democrat in the Senate health committee, issued a letter to President Trump regarding Redfield’s, particularly controversial past.
The letter focuses on Redfield’s formal investigation by the Army regarding his work on the HIV vaccine trials. Redfield allegedly misrepresented preliminary data on the vaccine’s effectiveness. The Army initially cleared Redfield of scientific misconduct, however, they did note that his data was “flawed.” They also noted and were highly critical of his relationship with conservative AIDS financial groups. Redfield allegedly shared the data with Americans for Sound AIDS Policy.
Redfield continued his career in the Army’s HIV sector until leaving altogether. Redfield eventually became the head of clinical research at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He was also a sitting member of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS from 2005 to 2009.
Either he was egregiously sloppy with data or it was fabricated. It was somewhere on that spectrum, both of which were serious and raised questions about his trustworthiness,” former Air Force Lt. Col. Craig Hendrix, the current director of the division of clinical pharmacology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, told Kaiser Health News.
Redfield was also controversial for some of his other HIV stances. Redfield wanted people to be screened before obtaining a marriage license and during routine medical checkups.
“If you choose to move forward with his appointment despite these controversial positions, I will seek his assurances that he has changed his positions in these key areas and that he understands the importance of conducting research with integrity and independent from the influence of special interests,” Murray said in her letter.
Redfield replaces disgraced Brenda Fitzgerald who left the position after it was discovered she was purchasing big tobacco stocks.