Tom Frieden, the former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under President Barack Obama, was arrested in New York City on Friday on charges of sexual abuse and harassment.
Frieden, 57, allegedly groped a woman inside his Brooklyn apartment, the New York Post reported.
Frieden, who led the CDC from 2009 to 2017, turned himself in for allegedly grabbing a 55-year-old woman’s backside in October 2017, police told the Post.
“He was arrested for forcible touching, for sexual abuse and harassment, for touching her buttocks without permission,” a New York police spokeswoman said.
BREAKING: Tom Frieden, former @nycHealthy commish and @CDCgov head was arrested Friday and charged with forcible touching, sex abuse and harassment after he inappropriately touched a woman in October of 2017.
— Myles Miller (@MylesMill) August 24, 2018
The Washington Post reported that Frieden headed up the CDC longer than any director since the 1970s.
He oversaw the agency during the outbreaks of the Ebola and Zika epidemics, as well as the 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic.
Frieden resigned his position after President Donald Trump took office.
In an outgoing interview with The Washington Post, the doctor spoke proudly of his work at the CDC.
“Fundamentally, Americans are healthier and safer because of the work CDC has done over the last eight years,” he said. “Americans are safer because we have better capacities in place, better infrastructure in place in this country and around the world to find threats early, stop them quickly and prevent them wherever possible.”
Frieden continued, “We’ve done that through laboratory work that looks at microbial genomics so we can stop outbreaks sooner. We’ve done that by training the next generation of public health specialists — more than 1,000 of them, fresh out of college and graduate school — deployed out to state and local governments. These people will be protecting Americans for decades to come.”
The Post asked what scared him the most.
“The biggest concern is always for an influenza pandemic. Even in a moderate flu year, (influenza) kills tens of thousands of Americans and sends hundreds of thousands to the hospital,” Frieden said.
“So flu, even in an average year, really causes a huge problem. And a pandemic really is the worst-case scenario. If you have something that spreads to a third of the population and can kill a significant proportion of those it affects, you have the makings of a major disaster.”
The nonprofit’s website states its goal is to “save 100 million lives by implementing proven solutions to prevent heart disease and stroke, the world’s leading cause of death. And we are helping the world prevent the next disease outbreak by catalyzing country action to find, stop and prevent new disease threats.”
The effort is being funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
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