White House Censors CDC Testimony

This post is by John Balbus, M.D., Chief Health Scientist at Environmental Defense.

Original Testimony [PDF]

Edited Testimony [PDF]

Dr. Julie L. Gerberding, Director of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), gave written testimony to a Senate committee this week. The statement she gave was a full six pages shorter than originally planned because of deep cuts made by the White House.

What was cut? A detailed discussion of the ways in which global warming poses a public health risk that starts with this paragraph:

Scientific evidence supports the view that the earth’s climate is changing. A broad array of organizations (federal, state, local, multilateral, faith-based, private and nongovernmental) is working to address climate change. Despite this extensive activity, the public health effects of climate change remain largely unaddressed. CDC considers climate change a serious public health concern.

The revised testimony jumps from a general background paragraph to "Public Health Preparedness for Climate Change". Gone are the sections on the specific ways climate change threatens public health, and which groups are most vulnerable.

The White House has downplayed the importance of these changes, but how can you discuss preparedness without first laying out the problem?

This isn’t the first time that the Administration has thwarted discussion on important public health issues. Unfortunately, it has a long history of it. And it has an equally long history of withholding information on climate change. It’s a shame that just when the Administration is starting to open up about climate change, it closes up again where public health and climate change intersect. We need to talk about these problems to find solutions.

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  1. Enrique
    Posted October 27, 2007 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Let’s continue speaking out but I don’t expect too much from this administration. I am counting the days when the Bush Administration is regelated to history.

  2. Eric
    Posted October 30, 2007 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    It’s interesting watching an administration try to pretend like they care about global warming and act otherwise. Reminds me of racism… and sexism, and child poverty, and every other problem that we let the government fix