Washington Post: “New CDC Chief Stepped Down From Four Groups to Comply With Ethics Rules”

The Washington Post covers the steps Dr. Robert Redfield took to accept the position as Director of the CDC

Published by: The Washington PostWritten by: Lena H. Sun

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield has resigned his  positions at four groups, including a gene therapy biotechnology company and a conservative AIDS organization, to comply with government ethics rules, according to his financial disclosures.

Redfield, a longtime HIV/AIDS researcher who started the job March 26, succeeded Brenda Fitzgerald, the former Georgia public health commissioner,who resigned Jan. 31 after serving only half a year because she was unable to divest from her financial holdings. She had also purchased tobacco stocks as CDC director.

“The job of CDC Director is very important to me," Redfield said in a statement issued Tuesday. "Therefore, I have worked closely with the HHS Ethics Office to comply with all reporting requirements of the Ethics in Government Act."

His public financial disclosure report has been reviewed by the ethics office of the Health and Human Services Department, to which the CDC belongs.

Redfield, a professor of medicine at the University of Maryland, said he has also divested stock holdings in two private biotechnology companies and is recusing himself from participating in matters involving the university and seven organizations, according to his ethics agreement and a memorandum about his recusals provided to The Washington Post by an individual with knowledge of the plans.

Among the organizations from which Redfield has resigned his positions:

* American Gene Technologies International Inc., a Rockville, Md., gene therapy company where Redfield served since 2011 as an adviser and later chair of the clinical advisory board for its HIV cure program. Redfield earned consulting fees of $57,250 from the beginning of 2017 through March 2018.

* Children’s AIDS Fund International, a faith-based AIDS organization, where Redfield has served as a director since 2003.

* Guidepoint Global, LLC, where Redfield had been a consultant since 2014. He earned $1,508 from the beginning of 2017 through March 2018.

Redfield sold his stock in Profectus BioSciences, a Baltimore vaccine-development company, before he started the CDC job, and in American Gene Technologies, according to his ethics agreement.

Redfield also will no longer work as a consultant for four law firms or as a speaker for a medical education company. He said he plans to sign over his share of royalties from a forthcoming book about HIV infections to his co-author and future licensing fees or royalties on several patents to the University of Maryland.

His compensation from the university from the beginning of 2017 through March 2018 was $757,100 plus a $70,000 bonus, according to his public financial disclosure.

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