Health Care

Former CDC director accused of groping woman in NY

Former CDC director accused of groping woman in NY”

Dr. Thomas Frieden, the former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was arrested Friday and charged with forcible touching, according to the New York Police Department. In that job, he fought against trans-fats in NYC restaurants and instituted other policies that drew ire from civil libertarians such as scrapping written consent for HIV testing and establishing an involuntary diabetes database.

Across his career, Frieden has been praised for his work on reducing smoking rates and bringing the Ebola epidemic to its end.

A 55-year-old woman filed a complaint against Frieden in July, accusing him of grabbing her buttocks against her will last October at his apartment in Brooklyn Heights, Muniz said. He was still in NYPD custody and scheduled to appear in court today.

An order of protection was issued, and Frieden is to have no contact with the alleged victim, according to the district attorney's office.

The president of Vital Strategies, Jose L. Castro, came out in support of Frieden. "In all of my experiences with him, there have never been any concerns or reports of inappropriate conduct", he said.

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the charity run by Facebook (FB.O) co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, said in a statement that the organization was "disturbed and saddened" by the charges.

Frieden was a disease investigator at the Atlanta-based CDC, the nation's top public health agency, in 1990 when he was assigned to New York City and worked on a large outbreak of drug-resistant tuberculosis. "Vital Strategies greatly values the work Dr. Frieden does to advance public health and he has my full confidence". Frieden surrendered his passport and is next due in court on October 11, prosecutors said. He was appointed to head the CDC by former President Barack Obama in 2009.

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