Tag Archives: Potus

Likely CDC Head Omitted HIV Research, Was Reprimanded By Army

Autism Investigated: Read the above Science Magazine article (click to enlarge, continued in embedded text below) and draw your own conclusion about the doctor President Trump will likely appoint to head  the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as Fitzgerald’s replacement.

The question of how Redfield had chosen his 15 patients for analysis came up again in August 1992, after the Amsterdam meeting, when researchers at WRAIR [Walter Reed Army Institute of Research] and the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the advancement of Military Medicine-a private lab that has a multi-million-dollar contract to assist the military’s AIDS research program -analyzed data from all 26 patients and found no statistically significant effect on viral load. Indeed, at an AIDS vaccine meeting sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases from 31 August-3 September in Chantilly, Virginia, Redfield and Vahey both made presentations about the full data set of 26 patients; both presentations showed that the viral load data from all 26 patients indicated no statistically significant change with gp160 treatment.

In addition, viral load data from the first 15 patients “were similar to those of the entire 26 patients,” Col. Donald Burke, Redfield’s boss, explained to Army investigators.

How had Redfield found statistical significance where there apparently was none? That question was first addressed by Burke in an informal inquiry. According to Burke’s statement to Army investigators, he held a meeting with key Redfield collaborators on 28 August-just before Chantilly-and the attendees “all agreed that the data analysis [for Amsterdam] was done in haste, which resulted in some arbitrary criteria and methodological errors.” 

Burke concluded there had been no scientific misconduct, only scientific error. In his statement to the Army investigators, Burke said that after the Chantilly presentations, “I was satisfied that the data were presented openly and accurately and that the conundrum regarding the Amsterdam presentation had been put to rest and the case was closed.”

The case was not closed. On 20 October, two Air Force AIDS researchers filed a formal complaint against Redfield that became the basis for the investigation. At the end of that process, Army investigator Dangerfield found that no misconduct had occurred and that any errors in Redfield’s presentation were due to haste. Dangerfield’s report cites Burke’s 28 August meeting as one explanation for that conclusion. The meeting, wrote Dangerfield in his final report, “concluded that the disparities between the analyses of [Lt. Col.] Redfield at Amsterdam and that of others arose by presenting preliminary data from less than the full study … and data analysis done in haste.”

That interpretation isn’t likely to satisfy some of Redfield’s colleagues. Three of them told Science they don’t believe haste was the reason Redfield’s analysis went awry. “I don’t think it was a silly, sophomoric mistake be- cause someone was rushed,” contends statistician William McCarthy, who until 15 July was the chief of biostatistics at the Jackson Foundation-and has resigned in frustration because of what he calls “a lack of candor” about the gp160 data. “The way the data were presented [in Amsterdam] was not legitimate, and it made the data look better than it would have looked had there been an appropriate analysis,” says McCarthy.

Two Redfield collaborators, who insist on not being quoted by name, also reject the notion that the Amsterdam presentation contained errors made in haste. Says one investigator: “I don’t think it was a presentation made by a researcher in a hurry. The presentation was sloppy and irresponsible. You go out and make a statement as an authority, as a world-class scientist, and you’re not super sure? Come on.” Another collaborator says Redfield’s presentation “was very well thought out.”

The FOIA documents, however, also reveal that Redfield has supporters among his colleagues. One of the strongest statements of support came from Lt. Col. John Brundage, WRAIR’s chief epidemiologist. Brundage, who helped Redfield with his statistical analysis prior to Amsterdam, told Danger- field he had attended the presentation and “did not feel it was inappropriate.” Brundage’s statement also said he thought Redfield had benefited from Brundage’s statistical “tutoring several days previously.”

Although the Army’s investigation of the Amsterdam presentation may not have satisfied all those close to these events, by 20 February of this year that phase of the investigation was closed. But because of concerns about WRAIR’s relationship with Americans for a Sound AIDS/HIV Policy, the Army launched a second probe–of that organization and its ties to Army researchers.

ASAP, which educates religious groups and aims to speed development of treatments, became snared in the Redfield investigation because of concerns that Redfield supporter W. Shepherd Smith Jr., the group’s president, was improperly contacting WRAIR researchers to discuss unreleased gp160 data. Like Redfield, Smith has been a strong supporter of gp160 therapy, testifying before Congress and even staging an investment seminar in Los Angeles for potential MicroGeneSys investors. Redfield is chairman of ASAP’s advisory board, which his chief collaborator, Deborah Birx, also serves on.

Specifically taken up in the Army probe was a phone call ASAP’s Smith made to Vahey on 24 August, in which they discussed the gp160 study and interpretations of the early results. Vahey was concerned enough about “the command of the data that Mr. Smith exhibited” and his opinions about how the gp160 data should be presented that she wrote a memo for the record, which the Army supplied to Science.

Smith told Science any implication he was trying to influence the analysis of gp160 data was “absolutely false,” stressing that his reason for calling had “nothing to do with the Amsterdam presentation.” Smith said he believes ASAP was brought into the Army’s investigation because “nothing was found in the first report and that wasn’t satisfactory to people who had staked their careers on finding something wrong with Bob Redfield.”

The Army investigation concluded that WRAIR provided ASAP with “scientific information that was not widely disseminated” and recommended that ties between the two groups “be severed so there is not an appearance of endorsement or favoritism.”

Severing the tie between ASAP and Army researchers, however, won’t end the questions still swirling around Robert Redfield, the gp160 vaccine, and MicroGeneSys. Although Redfield’s supporters are pleased with the outcome of the investigation, many of Redfield’s colleagues and others close to the investigation are not fully satisfied. A new investigation could be launched by a joint Army-Navy-Air Force team. Congress might also hold hearings on the issue. On the scientific front, gp160 will also come up again soon, since the military is staging a trial of the MicroGeneSys vaccine in more than 600 infected people. The trial will compare treated patients to a randomized control group receiving a placebo. A first look at the blinded data is scheduled for the fall. But, like every other new piece of information about gp160, those preliminary results are far more likely to start debate than to end it. -Jon Cohen SCIENCE VOL. 261 13 AUGUST 1993

RFK Quick To Attack Trump on Vaccines, But Soft on Democrats

Instagram pic of Trump pinata at family gathering from account of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s daughter, Kathleen “Kick” Kennedy

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. appears to have publicly given up hope on the Trump Administration’s willingness to tackle vaccines, according to The Guardian. The move comes weeks after his nephew delivered the Democrat Party’s response to the State of the Union address, marking a resurgent role of the Kennedy family in politics. It also represents a stark contrast to the appeasing approach RFK took with President Obama and many other prominent Democrat apologists of vaccination.

When news broke that Congressman Joe Kennedy III would deliver the Democrat response to the State of the Union Address, Robert Kennedy was quick to hype the story on Twitter.

Weeks after Joe Kennedy’s statement, Robert Kennedy made these remarks to The Guardian about the current president’s alleged betrayal of vaccine safety:

“We were told President Trump wanted to meet directly with us. Not only did nothing happen, they’ve cut off all communication with people who care about this issue. The administration has decided to go in another direction.”

“I’ve seen a tremendous deflation among a community of parents and children’s health advocates across the country who believed the promises that President Trump made to the campaign, who put tremendous faith in him and now are feeling enormous betrayal and disappointment.”

According to The Guardian, Robert Kennedy has not had contact with the White House for “at least six months.” Around that same time, he disclosed details of his recent meetings with federal officials to STAT NewsAutism Investigated has reached out to Kennedy’s organization World Mercury Project to inquire about the circumstances that led to these disclosures and is waiting to hear back. One cannot help but wonder his motivations for speaking so freely to the mainstream press while trying to sway a president who has been so critical of unwarranted leaks and fake news by that same press.

Throughout the election, Kennedy was a staunch supporter of Hillary Clinton. That was despite her adamant defense of vaccination, even attacking Donald Trump over his statements about the vaccine problem.

Years ago, a doctor close to the Clintons convinced Kennedy to release a chopped version of his landmark book on mercury in vaccines. That failed attempt to sway Senate Democrats, the Obama Administration and an anticipated Clinton Administration faced massive protest from the autism community. Autism Investigated responded by posting the complete manuscript online, taking it down only after Kennedy published the full version one year later.

But despite spending years trying to appease Obama officials, Kennedy is quick to alienate the first president to have openly supported the fact that vaccines cause autism. Kennedy’s decision comes as the permanent position of CDC chief again remains vacant while that same president has the sole authority to fill it with a decent appointment. What Kennedy did could not have been done at a worse time.


“I take it back!” Brenda Fitzgerald being sworn into office.

Brenda Fitzgerald resigns as CDC director.

Statement from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Regarding CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald

“This morning Secretary Azar accepted Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald’s resignation as Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Dr. Fitzgerald owns certain complex financial interests that have imposed a broad recusal limiting her ability to complete all of her duties as the CDC Director. Due to the nature of these financial interests, Dr. Fitzgerald could not divest from them in a definitive time period.   After advising Secretary Azar of both the status of the financial interests and the scope of her recusal, Dr. Fitzgerald tendered, and the Secretary accepted, her resignation.  The Secretary thanks Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald for her service and wishes her the best in all her endeavors.”

— HHS Spokesman Matt Lloyd

Read Autism Investigated’s open letter to President Trump last summer to protest Dr. Fitzgerald’s appointment to CDC director. Selected excerpt:

If you want a genuine vaccine safety commission as you promised Robert F. Kennedy Jr., it will not work with federal agency heads all wanting to keep the status quo. You have already appointed someone to run the FDA who has testified that he will challenge you on vaccine safety. There was no major outcry then because, unlike CDC, FDA does not dictate federal vaccine policy.

Lilly Exec’s HHS Nomination Leaves Autism Problem to POTUS

Before the election, Donald Trump said of the problem that is the autism epidemic: “I’ll fix it.” He will fix it, not a surrogate.

That is all the more important to remember now that President Trump has just nominated former Lilly president Alex Azar to run HHS. Now more than ever, Trump must be held accountable for his promise.

From FiercePharma:

Ex-Eli Lilly executive Azar wins Trump’s nomination for top HHS post

by Eric Sagonowsky

President Donald Trump has picked a pharma insider to oversee the HHS. Just days after news that Trump was set to select ex-Eli Lilly executive Alex Azar for the U.S. government’s top healthcare post, he tweeted the nomination Monday morning.

Trump picked Azar for the HHS chief position above other candidates such as Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services director Seema Verma and FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb, according to press reports on the selection process. Azar, who has served as an HHS deputy secretary during the George W. Bush administration and as Eli Lilly’s U.S. president, will be tasked with advancing the president’s repeal and replace push for the Affordable Care Act and ostensibly with tackling high pharmaceutical prices, an issue Trump campaigned on and has touched on during his time in the White House. But so far, critics contend the Trump Administration’s actions and proposals have only favored the industry. 

RELATED: Trump poised to nominate ex-Lilly executive Alex Azar for top HHS job: report

Trump famously said pharma is “getting away with murder,” and previously crossed party lines to endorse Medicare price negotiations. Still, drug pricing talk hasn’t gotten serious in Congress and four Congressmen wrote to the president last month to say his “inaction” on their Medicare negotiation proposal has left them with no option other than to press ahead alone.

Cowen analyst Eric Assaraf, for his part, wrote in a note seen by Business Insider that even though “Trump specifically called out lowering drug prices in his announcement of Azar, we don’t believe his appointment will mark a change in course in that realm.” After leaving Lilly as part of an executive shakeup earlier this year, Azar formed a consultancy as he explored “new leadership opportunities,” according to an online speaker profile.

Reacting to Azar’s selection, Senate Finance Committee ranking member Sen. Ron Wyden said the president “at every turn … has broken his promises to American families to lower health care costs, expand access and bring down the high price of prescription drugs.” Sen. Wyden said he’ll ask Azar to take “take decisive, meaningful action to curtail the runaway train of prescription drug costs.”

It isn’t the first time President Trump has selected an industry insider for a top government job. The president earlier this year tapped Scott Gottlieb—who was pharma’s top pick by a wide margin—for the crucial FDA commissioner post. During his time at the agency, Gottlieb has won praise for his moves to increase competition and provide relief on pricing, as well as to speed the FDA’s approval process.

Gottlieb’s name was one floated for the HHS chief position after former secretary Tom Price resigned in September, but the FDA commissioner said in a Reuters interview he felt he is “most effective” at the drug agency.

Azar’s nomination is sure to encounter more pushback. On earlier reports that the ex-Lilly executive was under consideration, Public Citizen founder Robert Weissman said if Azar wins the nod, “then Big Pharma’s coup d’etat in the healthcare sphere will be virtually complete.”

Azar has argued against drug price controls in the past, Weissman said at the time, making it “highly unlikely” he would “advance real reform” on the issue.

Eli Lilly Executive Likely To Be HHS Secretary – And No, This Is Not A Joke

Former Lilly USA President Alex Azar is likely to be appointed new HHS Secretary according to anonymous White House sources. Eli Lilly is the company that introduced thimerosal, the toxic, mercury-based vaccine preservative still used in vaccines given to children and pregnant women. It has also been proven to cause autism.

If President Trump nominates Azar for the position, it will represent a marked departure from Trump’s pre-election promises to “fix” the autism epidemic. Previously, Autism Investigated heavily protested the appointment of the current CDC director Brenda Fitzgerald. Trump also nominated Scott Gottlieb to run FDA, a major pharma shill and defender of dangerous vaccines.

Azar’s appointment would truly be a case of the revolving door coming full-circle. Before working as an executive for Eli Lilly for 10 years, Azar was deputy HHS Secretary and general counsel for HHS under the Bush Administration. Azar was at HHS when GOP Senator Bill Frist led an effort to shield Lilly from litigation while he was receiving thousands in campaign contributions.

How is it that a president who met with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. earlier this year to discuss a vaccine safety commission ends up appointing an executive from one of the biggest corporate perpetrators of vaccine injury? How is it that that same president met with Dr. Andrew Wakefield last year?

The White House had reportedly been arranging for Kennedy to meet with officials from the FDA and NIH. Not surprisingly, those agencies dismissed his concerns yet again. Does President Trump expect that having an Eli Lilly executive at the top of HHS will somehow change that? How can he take the vaccine issue seriously if he’s putting people with deep industry ties in high government positions? If Trump’s appointees are not willing to take action on this important issue, then President Trump should directly intervene.

But setting the vaccine issue aside, there is another issue with Azar running HHS: his primary support for a presidential candidate with very, very low energy.

Please Extradite Danish Fraud Poul Thorsen to the US, President Trump!

Office of the Inspector General, Department of Health and Human Services

Last year, Autism Investigated’s editor publicly spoke out at the annual AutismOne  conference in favor of renewed efforts to push for extradition of vaccine-autism link “debunker” Poul Thorsen. This year, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is leading the push to do just that:

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and World Mercury Project Issue Report Regarding New Evidence of Ongoing Corruption and Scientific Misconduct at CDC

Kennedy hopes new evidence and a fresh look at criminal misconduct will result in law enforcement action, rigorous and transparent vaccine safety science, and safer vaccines.

In a new report released September 18, 2017, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and his team outlined various criminal acts on the part of employees and consultants for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) whose questionable ethics and scientific fraud have resulted in untrustworthy vaccine safety science.

Among other information, Kennedy has found additional evidence of criminal activity by the CDC consultant, Poul Thorsen, the author and principal coordinator of multiple CDC studies exonerating the mercury-based preservative thimerosal in the development of autism.

The new evidence, recently uncovered World Mercury Project, shows that Thorsen and his collaborators did not obtain permission from an Institutional Review Board (IRB) to conduct their research, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2002 and Pediatrics in 2003. In 2011, The Department of Justice indicted Thorsen on 22 counts of wire fraud and money laundering for stealing over $1 million in CDC grant money earmarked for autism research. The product of Thorsen’s work for CDC was a series of fraud-tainted articles on Danish autism rates that, today, form the backbone of the popular orthodoxy that vaccines don’t cause autism.

In 2009, when CDC discovered that Thorsen never applied for the IRB approvals, staff did not report the errors and retract the studies. Rather, FOIA documents show that CDC supervisors ignored the missteps and covered up the illegal activity.

This misconduct, undermines the legitimacy of these studies, which were used to refute vaccine injury claims in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP). The studies were also used in the NVICP’s “Omnibus” to dismiss 5000 petitions by families who claimed that their children had developed autism from vaccines. These claims, if settled in the claimants’ favor, would have resulted in payouts totaling an estimated $10 billion.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Chairman, stated, “World Mercury Project calls upon Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, to extradite Thorsen back to the U.S. to face prosecution. We also call upon Secretary of Health and Human Services, Dr. Tom Price, to retract the Thorsen-affiliated autism research papers that are the fruit of illegally conducted research.”

Originally published at World Mercury Project

CDC Director Tweets Vaccine Indoctrination Video

Brenda Fitzgerald has just tweeted an indoctrination video about how great Rotavirus and pneumonia vaccines are, proclaiming vaccines one of the greatest achievements of the last decade. Meanwhile, vaccines were giving countless American children autism that entire time.

What did President Trump expect when he let such a person take that position? He campaigned on a platform of vaccine safety, which would require the CDC to stop lying about poisoning children. Yet he appointed exactly the wrong person for the job.

Has President Trump backed down from his promise to put together a vaccine safety commission, even though he insisted he wouldn’t? If he hasn’t, how will such a commission function with someone like Fitzgerald running CDC? She has nothing to lose from undermining such a commission. If Trump gets voted out and she gets replaced, she’ll just get her cozy job at pharma four years sooner.

A federal agency may work more efficiently if it’s run by someone who thinks like her subordinates, but in this case it’s efficiency for an evil purpose. The people working under Fitzgerald who are part of the problem should not be at CDC either. They belong at pharmaceutical companies, at best.

Dr. Peter Hotez Hopes to Mandate Vaccines by Importing Measles

Despite pushing for mandatory vaccinations, Baylor College vaccine developer Dr. Peter Hotez vocally opposed President Trump’s travel ban on multiple measles-endemic countries.

Last January, Hotez told Nature News:

“Scientific communities across the world need collaborators in these countries who can combat epidemics before they arrive in the US,” 

Never mind that the ban applies to citizens of those countries coming here, not US citizens going there. Nothing about Hotez’s statement suggests any priority given to preventing epidemics from arriving to the US. How can the US count on failed states like Somalia to prevent its people from bringing measles here without placing any restrictions on who comes here?

The ongoing measles outbreak among Somalis in Minnesota started when the ban on Somalian travelers was being stalled by activist judges. Now the travel ban on Somalia and other measles-endemic countries is finally allowed to go into effect (for now). That may hamper the virus’ ability to travel from Africa directly to the US.

It is less likely, however, to prevent the virus from spreading to the US through Europe like it did to California at the beginning of the migrant crisis. Yet European countries continue to open their borders to infectious migrants while stripping citizens of vaccine exemption rights.

Undoubtedly, people like Hotez want that repeated here. The Texas politicians who voted for a failed, privacy-invading bill that would publicize immunization rates in schools also overwhelmingly support sanctuary cities. Houston – whose mayor personally intervened to censor Vaxxed – is one of those cities.

If school vaccine coverage rates are published, why not also publish a percentage breakdown of each school’s population by national origin? That may be a better indicator of a school’s likelihood of having an imported measles outbreak. Nobody has to be identified either, but the vaccine industry would never push for that.

And why would they? If measles is stopped from entering the US through common sense immigration policy, that would kill the vaccine industry’s ability to challenge vaccine exemptions through mandatory vaccination. As Hotez told that crooked Vice reporter, he hopes measles gets brought to Texas so that legislators will be more likely to mandate vaccines:

“The only thing that’s going to stop this runaway train right now is a large measles outbreak,” 

That runaway train Hotez is referring to is not the measles itself, it’s exemptions from the vaccines that damage children’s brains. Hotez has a daughter with autism, so no prizes for guessing why he really wants vaccine mandates. His persistent anger at anti-vaccinationists is fueled by his denial that his daughter’s autism could have been vaccine-caused. The more likely measles gets imported, the more likely he can take that anger out on anti-vaccinationists by punishing us with vaccine mandates.

Now it all makes sense why he opposed the president’s travel ban while living in a sanctuary city for illegal immigrants. He wants to spread a measles epidemic to the US!

Ask CDC Director If She Agrees With Gagging Dr. William Thompson!

It’s finally happened! More than a week into her new job as CDC Director, Brenda Fitzgerald has produced her first tweet!

Yes, Dr. Fitzgerald. Actually, there is some info you can share with us. Three weeks before the election, your predecessor blocked CDC whistleblower Dr. William Thompson from testifying in a deposition. Then-CDC director Thomas Frieden’s exact words were as follows:

“Dr. William Thompson’s deposition testimony would not substantially promote the objectives of CDC or HHS.”

Do you agree with that statement, Dr. Fitzgerald? If nothing was covered up, then surely his testimony wouldn’t be a problem for you. If something was covered up, doesn’t the public deserve to know what went on in your agency 15 years ago? Especially if it has major implications for the health of children?

Shortly before your 2014 pro-vaccine op-ed, the since-elected president said this:

Then later that year, what do you know? CDC “research” concerning a one-time, massive shot known as the MMR turned out to be the result of misconduct, according to one of your own employees. Trump called it like it is:

As you probably know, President Trump spoke out on vaccine dangers in the second GOP debate. As president-elect, he wanted to establish a vaccine safety commission which Newt Gingrich supported. Did he really say all that only to appoint another stooge who would cover up the evidence again?

Wall Street Journal: CDC Director Says She Is A “Strong Advocate for Vaccines”

New CDC Chief Lays Out Priorities as Agency Faces Cuts

Brenda Fitzgerald, the new director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said she will prioritize a wide range of public health issues, from fighting infectious disease to strengthening early-childhood development.

By Betsy McKay

The new director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said she will prioritize a wide range of public health issues, from fighting infectious disease to strengthening early-childhood development, as the federal agency faces potentially substantial budget cuts.

In an interview at the end of her first week on the job, Brenda Fitzgerald said she would make a strong case for public health spending should the agency fall on tough times.

“When there are austere times, the most important factor is that you have to know what your mission is,” Dr. Fitzgerald said. “You make sure what you’re doing is indeed fulfilling that role, because there are certain things that I believe only public health can do,” she said.

The Trump administration has proposed a $1.22 billion, or 17%, cut to the CDC’s budget for fiscal 2018, including reductions in chronic disease prevention and epidemic preparedness.

Many public health experts welcomed Dr. Fitzgerald’s July 7 appointment, because she is a public health advocate and leader. But she has been criticized for a Georgia childhood obesity program that accepted funds from Coca-Cola Co.’s foundation and for offering controversial anti-aging remedies as a practicing obstetrician-gynecologist.

Dr. Fitzgerald, 71 years old, grew up in Middlesboro, Ky., a town in coal-mining country. She “met this cute boy in medical school” at Emory University and has been in Georgia ever since, practicing as an OB-GYN for three decades, raising a daughter and son, and serving state Republican leaders. She was Georgia’s public health commissioner from 2011 until she was named to her CDC post.

Brenda Fitzgerald said she would make a strong case for public health spending should the agency fall on tough times.Photo: Melissa Golden for The Wall Street Journal

She said she is commuting to her new job from her home in Carrollton, Ga., nearly 60 miles west of Atlanta because “that cute boy I married—he grew up there. He’s not moving.”

She calls herself a “strong advocate for vaccines” and says she supports making reliable contraception available, two issues that have been scrutinized by the new administration.

Rates of premature births can be brought down by spacing births, saving on health-care costs, she said, an approach that generally requires contraception. Caring for a premature infant in the first year, of life costs about 10 times as much as caring for a healthy, full-term baby, making it one of the most expensive health-care needs, and that added costs extend well beyond the first year. “It’s huge,” she said.

She believes decisions about abortion should be made “between a woman and her doctor,” with limitations. “There’s absolutely no case once a child is viable,” she said. But, she added, “I did not do abortions in my practice.”

The CDC collects data on abortions but doesn’t fund them.

Dr. Fitzgerald said that preventing the spread of infectious disease will remain a priority for the agency. “Quite frankly, it’s our responsibility,” she said.

That includes doing more to prevent antibiotic resistance, tracking emerging infections overseas and helping other countries build their infectious-disease-fighting capacities, she said.

Battling the U.S.’s biggest killers will also be a focus for the CDC under her leadership, she said, though she didn’t cite specifics. Fighting opioid addiction—which killed more than 33,000 people in the U.S. in 2015—is a priority for the administration, her spokeswoman said.

She said she also wants to make advances in an area she championed as Georgia’s public health commissioner: children’s early brain development. “If we can change something at the very beginning that is a simple intervention like language development, that’s a phenomenal chance to influence that child’s entire life,” she said.

Dr. Fitzgerald has come under fire for the Georgia SHAPE childhood obesity program, which took $1 million from 2013 to 2015 from the Coca-Cola Foundation to promote physical activity.

She said that the state purposely sought partners from every sector, including large area employers such as Coca-Cola, to join its $57 million program. The program promotes eating fresh fruits and vegetables in addition to physical activity, she said.

“I think if you’re going to solve a big problem, you’ve got to have a public-private partnership,” she said. “What you have to do is start at that place on which there is agreement and work from there.”

As a practicing OB-GYN, Dr. Fitzgerald said she took continuing education courses to become a fellow in anti-aging medicine after getting many questions from menopausal patients. Such therapies include bioidentical hormones, which are identical in molecular structure to the hormones women make in their bodies.

They are often marketed as a safer alternative to traditional hormone replacement therapy, but have skeptics because they haven’t been well studied. The Food and Drug Administration says it doesn’t have evidence that bioidentical hormones are safer or more effective than other hormone products.

“One, I was curious, two, I wanted to see what the scientific data was there,” she said. “I wanted to be able to answer patients’ questions.”

She said she believes there is more research to be done on the therapies. She said she closed her OB-GYN practice when she became public health commissioner in Georgia, and “I will not be practicing private medicine here at CDC.”

Write to Betsy McKay at betsy.mckay@wsj.com

Originally published in The Wall Street Journalavailable without subscription here.