"Dr. Redfield's scientific and clinical background is peerless", said Alex Azar, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), CDC's parent agency, in a press release issued today announcing the appointment.
In January, Brenda Fitzgerald, MD, stepped down as CDC director after reports surfaced that she traded in tobacco stocks.
Redfield also drew criticism from public health leaders for endorsing the isolation of infected soldiers, and for calling for mandatory HIV testing of soldiers and health care workers - even though the CDC and the US surgeon general thought such measures could lead to discrimination and likely wouldn't halt spread of the disease.More news: Manchester United 'drag themselves into the 21st century' with women's team
A professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, as well as the co-founder of the Institute for Human Virology (IHV), Dr. Redfield appears to be an "excellent choice" to the lead the CDC, at least according to Robert C. Gallo, MD, co-founder and director of IHV.
"He had some positions in the early days of the epidemic that were then and are now considered unconscionable", Mitchell Warren, executive director of AVAC, a global HIV-prevention advocacy group, told BuzzFeed News. In her 19 March letter to Trump, Murray recounted how Redfield was investigated in 1993 by the Army for allegedly misrepresenting data from a trial of an experimental AIDS vaccine meant to treat infected people.
While Redford's track record has some in the HIV and public health advocacy communities anxious about the prospect of him helming the CDC, others paint a different picture.More news: Businessman Byron Allen Expands Portfolio With Weather Channel Purchase
Redfield didn't immediately comment on Wednesday's announcement. The investigation found no evidence of scientific misconduct but criticized him for faulty analysis of study data. "It was somewhere on that spectrum, both of which were serious and raised questions about his trustworthiness". He has been an outstanding leader as head of the institute's Clinical Care and Research Division and a major force in establishing our clinical public health programs in Baltimore to confront the HIV and hepatitis C epidemics in our city and state. "We are proud to welcome him as director of the world's premier epidemiological agency", he said.
"What one wants in a director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is a scientist of impeccable scientific integrity".
Peter Lurie, president of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, also advised the administration not to pick Redfield. "We urge the administration not to appoint Dr. Redfield".
Dr. Redfield has not run a public health agency, but has overseen a clinical program providing HIV care and treatment to more than 5,000 patients in the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. region. Multiple sources contacted by TheBody who have worked with Redfield over the past decade describe him as an extraordinarily knowledgeable man and a consummate professional whose devout adherence to the Catholic faith and conservative political leanings have not been a hindrance in his work as a researcher and administrator. "If he's able to do that, ultimately that's how his leadership will be judged".More news: US, South Korea May Cut Exercises Short for Trump-Kim Summit