Former CDC boss now ABC health/medical editor


Richard Besser, M.D., the acting director of the CDC during the first six months of 2009 (CDC bio), will become ABC’s senior health and medical editor, Shelia M. Poole reports in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.


Besser’s regular press conferences at the beginning of the H1N1 outbreak first put him in the national media spotlight, and now he’ll be leaving his post as head of the Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response to work on the media side full-time.

Besser, who did some TV health reporting in San Diego in the ’90s, has been praised for his media savvy but was passed over in favor of former New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Freiden when the long-term hire for the CDC’s top spot was announced in May.

At ABC, Besser plans to tackle issues like “obesity, health disparities and HIV” as well as coverage of this fall’s upcoming H1N1 season, Poole reports.

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