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Redfield for CDC Post

The Trump Administration has formally announced its appointment of Robert Redfield as director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ScienceInsider reports. Earlier this week, the Washington Post reported that Redfield, an HIV/AIDS researcher at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and former Army doctor, was one of a few people under consideration for the post.

In a statement, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Redfield "has dedicated his entire life to promoting public health and providing compassionate care to his patients" and that his "scientific and clinical background is peerless."

However, Redfield has faced criticism over the course of his career, ScienceInsider says. The Post noted this week that he has been rebuked over his call in the early days of the AIDS epidemic for mass testing.

NPR adds that Redfield also ran a troubled HIV vaccine study at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research for which he reportedly oversold the results. A 1993 Army investigation found accuracy issues with the work, but said the data errors didn't rise to the level of misconduct. Redfield also denied any misconduct at the time, according to NPR.

"Either he was egregiously sloppy with data or it was fabricated," Craig Hendrix, who was at that time the director of an Air Force HIV clinical unit and now is at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, tells NPR. "It was somewhere on that spectrum, both of which were serious and raised questions about his trustworthiness."

Redfield will replace Brenda Fitzgerald, who stepped down as CDC director at the end of January over her purchase of tobacco and healthcare stocks.

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