Jul 7, 2017

Georgia health commissioner to be new CDC director

David Tulis / AP

Georgia Department of Public Health commissioner Brenda Fitzgerald has been appointed as the new director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HHS secretary Tom Price, a former Georgia congressman, announced the appointment this morning. She'll replace Tom Frieden, who led the agency during the Ebola and Zika virus crises. Anne Schuchat has been the acting CDC director since the end of the Obama administration.

What to know: She's an obstetrician-gynecologist who ran for Congress twice and has served as Georgia's health commissioner since 2011, the Washington Post reports. She also worked as a health care policy adviser to House Speaker Newt Gingrich in the 1990s.

One story you might hear again: STAT notes one controversy from her term as health commissioner: Georgia Gov, Nathan Deal claimed in 2014 that "water kills the Ebola virus," and said he had learned that from a meeting with her. (She later said Ebola can only survive a few minutes in water, but "once it gets in your body, it's mean.")

Go deeper

John Kelly defends James Mattis against Trump attacks

John Kelly in the White House in July 2017. Photo: Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Former White House chief of staff John Kelly defended James Mattis on Thursday after President Trump attacked the former defense secretary as "the world's most overrated general" and claimed on Twitter that he was fired.

What he's saying: “The president did not fire him. He did not ask for his resignation,” Kelly told the Washington Post in an interview. “The president has clearly forgotten how it actually happened or is confused."

Barr claims "no correlation" between removing protesters and Trump's church photo op

Attorney General Bill Barr said at a press conference Thursday that there was "no correlation" between his decision to order police to forcibly remove protesters from Lafayette Park and President Trump's subsequent visit to St. John's Episcopal Church earlier this week.

Driving the news: Barr was asked to respond to comments from Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who said Tuesday that he "did not know a photo op was happening" and that he does everything he can to "try and stay out of situations that may appear political."

Updates: Cities move to end curfews for George Floyd protests

Text reading "Demilitarize the police" is projected on an army vehicle during a protest over the death of George Floyd in Washington, D.C.. early on Thursday. Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Several cities are ending curfews after the protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people led to fewer arrests and less violence Wednesday night.

The latest: Los Angeles and Washington D.C. are the latest to end nightly curfews. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan tweeted Wednesday night that "peaceful protests can continue without a curfew, while San Francisco Mayor London Breed tweeted that the city's curfew would end at 5 a.m. Thursday.