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New CDC Head Gets High Salary

The new director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is making nearly twice as much in salary as his predecessor, the New York Times reports.

According to the Times, Robert Redfield, who assumed the top spot at the CDC in March, is being paid $375,000, which is higher than the heads of other federal agencies — including the leaders of the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration as well as his boss, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services — make and more than the $197,300 the previous CDC director, Brenda Fitzgerald, made. The Times adds that Redfield's salary was granted under a Title 42 provision, which allows officials to be paid more than the standard rate if they provide scientific expertise that would otherwise be unavailable. The Times adds that neither Fitzgerald nor Tom Frieden, the CDC director during the Obama administration, were paid under that provision.

"It is difficult to understand why someone with limited public health experience, particularly in a leadership role, is being disproportionately compensated for his work," Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) wrote in a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar.

An HHS spokesperson tells the Times that "Redfield has over 30 years of experience as a groundbreaking scientist, academic researcher and clinician who has been a global leader in the fight against one of the most devastating diseases of our time — HIV/AIDS."