New York, Aug 25 (AP) A former director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was accused of grabbing a woman’s behind and was arrested yesterday on a sex abuse charge but said the woman’s allegation “does not reflect” who he is or the values he has.Also Read - Mumbai Rains: Death Toll Rises to 31 in Landslide, House-collapse Incidents; NDRF Ends Search & Rescue Ops

Dr Thomas Frieden was awaiting a court appearance yesterday in connection with what happened on October 20, 2017, at his Brooklyn home, police said. Also Read - Viral Video Shows Man Flying in New York’s Times Square, People Are Reminded of Green Goblin | Watch

The woman reported it in July, and he was taken into custody after an investigation. Also Read - Nipah Virus in India: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Prevention And Cure

The accuser, a 55-year-old woman who knew Frieden, told police that he grabbed her buttocks. Frieden, who also is a former New York City health commissioner, is charged with forcible touching, sex abuse and harassment.

Frieden leads a health initiative called Resolve to Save Lives, which is housed by nonprofit global health organization Vital Strategies.

“The allegation does not reflect Dr Frieden’s public or private behaviour or his values over a lifetime of service to improve health around the world,” said a statement issued by a spokesman on his behalf.

The president of Vital Strategies, Jose L Castro, came out in support of Frieden.

He said Frieden informed him in April that “a non-work-related friend of his and his family of more than 30 years accused him of inappropriate physical contact.” “I have known and worked closely with Dr Frieden for nearly 30 years and have seen first-hand that he has the highest ethical standards both personally and professionally,” Castro said in a statement.

“In all of my experiences with him, there have never been any concerns or reports of inappropriate conduct.” Nonetheless, earlier this month Vital Strategies hired an investigator to interview Resolve to Save Lives employees even though the woman didn’t work there.

Castro said the investigation found no inappropriate workplace behaviour.

“Vital Strategies greatly values the work Dr Frieden does to advance public health and he has my full confidence,” Castro said.

Frieden was a disease investigator at the Atlanta-based CDC, the nation’s top public health agency, in 1990 when he was assigned to New York City and worked on a large outbreak of drug-resistant tuberculosis. He stayed, taking a job heading the city’s tuberculosis control.

In 1996, he began working in India with the World Health Organization on tuberculosis control.

Frieden became New York City’s health commissioner in 2002 and was known for his aggressive measures to attack chronic diseases.

In 2003, New York banned smoking in almost all workplaces, a precedent-setting move that inspired other cities to do the same.

In 2006, it became the first US city to ban restaurants from using artificial trans fats and required hundreds of eateries to post calorie counts on their menus.

In 2009, President Barack Obama’s administration picked Frieden to head the CDC.

Frieden led US public health efforts during a range of high-profile national and international health crises, including pandemic flu, Ebola and Zika.

Frieden was CDC director until January 2017, when he resigned as part of the turnover to President Donald Trump’s administration.

In September 2017, Frieden announced he had moved back to New York City to head the USD 225 million Resolve to Save Lives initiative. (AP) RUP

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.