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The New CDC Director Is Taking a Salary Cut After Congress Asked Questions About His Massive Raise

Robert-Redfield-CDC-DirectorRobert-Redfield-CDC-Director
Robert Redfield Jr. was set to make $375,000 before his salary became a "distraction".Tracey Brown—University of Maryland School of Medicine/AP

It must have been nice salary bump while it lasted.

After reporting last week showed that Dr. Robert Redfield Jr., the new director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was earning $150,000 more than his predecessors, the government has announced it will reduce his pay.

Redfield’s $375,000 salary was allowed under Title 42, a provision that allows the government to pay higher-than-standard salaries to scientists with specialized skills in order to attract them to public service. Although thousands of CDC and National Institutes of Health (NIH) employees are paid under Title 42, it is unusual to use it for the CDC director’s pay. Redfield’s two immediate predecessors were not paid under Title 42.

After last week’s reports on Redfield’s salary, Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) wrote to Alex Azar, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, to inquire about the use of Title 42 in Redfield’s case. She questioned whether the search had been exhaustive and whether the position itself is a scientific role.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services told The New York Times that Redfield “does not wish to have his compensation become a distraction for the important work of the CDC” and that his pay would be adjusted accordingly. The government declined to specify Redfield’s new salary, or indeed whether it would be determined under Title 42.