President Donald Trump's administrative appointments thus far have raised questions. He appointed Rick Perry to the Energy Department despite Perry's comments during his presidential campaign that he would eliminate it, and picked Ben Carson for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development even though he had no experience working with low-income housing.
Now, he's chosen OB/GYN Brenda Fitzgerald to head the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which on the surface level sounds like a reasonable pick. There's just one problem: Fitzgerald reportedly "peddled" controversial anti-aging treatments in her practice.
According to Forbes, before she was appointed as commissioner of Georgia's Department of Public Health, Fitzgerald spent 30 years in private practice. Forbes cites an archived web page of Fitzgerald's old private practice website where she listed that she was board certified in "anti-aging and regenerative medicine" by the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. But Forbes also notes that the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine is not recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties.
This is because the group utilizes practices such as "bioidentical hormone replacement therapy" and "pellet therapy." These therapies involve hormones or nutrients placed or inserted into patients. However, compounded hormones in creams, injections, and pellets like those used in the anti-aging medicines practiced by Fitzgerald largely aren't subject to regulation by the Food and Drug Administration because they are considered dietary supplements, not actual medical treatments.
Under the Frequently Asked Questions on Fitzgerald's old website, the answer to "Why did you become interested in anti-aging medicine?" had the following response:
Fitzgerald also disclosed in the FAQ that she could treat both male and female patients for nutritional concerns, and that her female patients had sometimes asked that she treated their husbands as well.
Currently, the Georgia Department of Public Health website does not contain any information about Fitzgerald as a fellow of anti-aging medicine (besides the press release of her appointment), and neither does Health and Human Services' announcement of her appointment to the CDC.
The CDC may also be facing additional challenges during the current administration, regardless of its head. President Trump has proposed a 17 percent budget cut for the CDC overall, and the CDC's Center for Global Health alone may lose $76 million.