Robert Redfield, the CDC director under President Trump, teed off on other former agency leaders Tuesday, arguing their criticism during Covid-19 further damaged trust in the nation’s public health system.

A defiant Robert Redfield teed off on other former directors of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday, lambasting the other onetime agency leaders for publicly criticizing his, and the Trump administration’s, response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Stat News reports.

“The one thing I’ve gained from three years in the Trump administration is every time that I go through an airport now, I trigger the metal detector because of all the shrapnel that’s in my back,” he said. “It was disappointing that some of my CDC director colleagues felt the necessity to publicly criticize me in the news.”

Redfield, an experienced but controversial HIV researcher, served as CDC director from 2018 until President Trump’s term expired in early 2021. While he played a leading role encouraging social distancing and mask use during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, he also weathered heavy criticism as the Trump administration’s careening response became increasingly politicized.

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