Tom Frieden, former CDC director, arrested on sexual misconduct charges

Tom Frieden, the former head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has been arrested following allegations of sexual harassment, sexual abuse, and forcible touching, several news outlets have reported.

Frieden, who led the public health agency for eight years under President Obama, is alleged to have forcibly touched at least one woman on her buttocks, STAT reported. The alleged assault took place in Frieden’s Brooklyn home. Frieden, age 57, was arrested by the New York Police Department on Friday and is expected in court later today.

According to BuzzFeed, the victim was a 55-year-old woman, and the incident took place during October 2017. The local ABC news station in New York is reporting that the woman reported the allegations in July.

“This allegation does not reflect Dr. Frieden’s public or private behavior or his values over a lifetime of service to improve health around the world,” a statement, shared with reporters by a Frieden spokesperson, said.

The former health official presided over many disease outbreaks, including the 2014 Ebola epidemic and the 2015-2016 Zika epidemic, and has been a frequent Vox source for analysis of public health issues both before and after his tenure with the Obama administration. He is a former New York City health commissioner, and is currently the president and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives, a global health nonprofit and initiative of Vital Strategies.

According to STAT, Frieden told the CEO of Vital Strategies about the allegations in April. Vital then opened an investigation into any evidence of workplace harassment (Frieden’s accuser is not an employee, however), and reportedly found none.

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