Prominent AIDS Researcher Named As CDC Chief Despite Concerns Over Misconduct Investigation
Dr. Robert Redfield "has dedicated his entire life to promoting public health and providing compassionate care to his patients," HHS Secretary Alex Azar said. Critics had spoken out against Redfield over complaints that his work on a high-profile vaccine research more than 20 years ago was flawed -- though a probe found no evidence of misconduct -- and that he advocated for policies like mandatory patient testing for HIV and for segregating HIV-positive Army soldiers.
The New York Times:
AIDS Researcher Robert R. Redfield Named To Lead The C.D.C.
A leading AIDS researcher and proponent of medication-assisted therapy for addiction was appointed Wednesday to oversee the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Alex M. Azar II, secretary of the Health and Human Services Department, announced that the agency’s new director would be Dr. Robert R. Redfield, a professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore and co-founder of the Institute for Human Virology. (Kaplan, 3/21)
The Associated Press:
Leading AIDS Researcher Selected As CDC Director
"Dr. Redfield has dedicated his entire life to promoting public health and providing compassionate care to his patients," Azar said in a statement. Redfield's appointment doesn't need Senate approval, and he'll start at the CDC on Monday. Redfield, 66, is a medical school professor at the University of Maryland, where he co-founded the Institute of Human Virology. He has extensive experience treating HIV patients as well as heroin addicts and has been praised for his work in Maryland on the opioid crisis. (3/21)
The Washington Post:
Longtime AIDS Researcher Robert Redfield Picked To Lead CDC
Azar said Redfield’s scientific and clinical background is “peerless” and noted that during his two-decade tenure at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Redfield made “pioneering contributions to advance our understanding of HIV/AIDS.” He also praised his more recent work running a treatment network in Baltimore for HIV and hepatitis C patients, which Azar said prepares Redfield “to hit the ground running on one of HHS and CDC’s top priorities, combating the opioid epidemic.” (Sun, 3/21)
The Wall Street Journal:
Robert Redfield Named To Head Centers For Disease Control And Prevention
Dr. Redfield, a professor of medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, weathered criticized in the 1990s for his stance on mandatory HIV testing for patients that some saw as adding to the stigma around AIDS. He was also criticized in the 1990s by consumer health organizations and some congressional Democrats for his work on an experimental AIDS vaccine, according to several news reports. Critics said his analysis and statement created false hope for patients. An investigation at the time by the U.S. Army determined there was no evidence to support scientific misconduct, but some Democrats have already said they oppose his nomination. (Armour, 3/21)
Trump Administration Taps AIDS Researcher To Lead CDC
Redfield’s colleagues defended his record, saying he was motivated by a desire to help his patients. “He took a position not caring about the politics,” said Robert Gallo, who co-founded the Institute of Human Virology and has worked closely with Redfield for decades. “That was a time of a lot of panic and a lot of pressure politically in a lot of directions. Bob, in his position in the Army, was concerned about soldiers and I’m sure he acted in the best interest of his patients.” (Ehley, 3/21)