Health Highlights: May 9, 2018

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

New CDC Director’s Salary Cut

The salary of the new director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been cut by $165,300 a year.

Dr. Robert Redfield Jr.’s annual pay will be reduced to $209,700 from $375,000, which was at least $150,000 more than any previous CDC director, the Associated Press reported.

The salary change was revealed Tuesday by a Department of Health and Human Services spokeswoman.

Redfield was a leading HIV researcher but had no experience in public health work or in managing a public health agency. Controversy erupted when it became known that he was to make nearly twice as much as the previous CDC director, the AP reported.

Redfield asked for a salary reduction because his pay had become a distraction, according to HHS officials.


Head of U.S. Pediatricians’ Group ‘Appalled’ by Trump Administration’s Stance on Border Control

The president of the American Academy of Pediatrics says she is “appalled” by the Trump administration’s zero tolerance illegal immigration policy that could separate children from their parents while the adults are prosecuted.

The Department of Homeland Security says it will refer all arrests for illegal entry to federal prosecutors.

Between October and April, people in families accounted for nearly one of every four Border Patrol arrests, so a major increase in prosecutions is likely to lead children and parents to be separated while parents go before the courts and spend time in jail, NPR reported.

Children separated from their parents would be supervised by the Health and Human Services Department, according to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

“As a pediatrician, as a parent, as the president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, I am appalled by a new policy reportedly signed by Department of Homeland Security that will forcibly separate children from their parents, a practice that this administration has already been carrying out for months,” Dr. Colleen Kraft said in a statement.

“The AAP is opposed to this policy and will continue to urge the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice to reverse it immediately,” she said.

“Separating children from their parents contradicts everything we stand for as pediatricians — protecting and promoting children’s health. In fact, highly stressful experiences, like family separation, can cause irreparable harm, disrupting a child’s brain architecture and affecting his or her short- and long-term health. This type of prolonged exposure to serious stress — known as toxic stress — can carry lifelong consequences for children,” Kraft said.

She added that the “new policy is the latest example of harmful actions by the Department of Homeland Security against immigrant families, hindering their right to seek asylum in our country and denying parents the right to remain with their children. We can and must do better for these families. We can and must remember that immigrant children are still children; they need our protection, not prosecution.”