CDC chief: Missing epidemiologist was not passed over for promotion

Acting CDC Director Anne Schuchat, MD, on March 12 denied recent media reports suggesting the CDC epidemiologist who's been missing for a month was passed over for a promotion prior to his disappearance, according to a report from CBS News.

In early March, multiple media outlets reported Dr. Timothy Cunningham, team lead for the CDC's division of population health, met with a supervisor Feb. 12 to discuss why he hadn't received a promotion the week before he went missing, citing comments from an Atlanta police official. Dr. Cunningham left work early that day after telling colleagues he didn't feel well. He has not been seen since.

"Today marks one month since Commander (CDR) Timothy Cunningham was last seen, and we have not given up hope that he will soon be found," Dr. Schuchat said. "There has been news coverage that Commander Cunningham recently did not receive a promotion. As many of his colleagues in the [U.S. Public Health Service] have pointed out, this information is incorrect."

Dr. Schuchat added Dr. Cunningham was promoted to commander effective July 1, 2017. The promotion was reflective of "his excellence as an officer and an employee."

Atlanta Police Sgt. John Chafee told CBS News the department stands behind previous statements made regarding Dr. Cunningham's employment, citing the CDC as the direct source of the information.

Dr. Cunningham's family on March 6 increased a reward for information on his whereabouts to $15,000.

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