White House "eviscerated" CDC report, says official

CDC director Julie Gerberding spoke on Tuesday (Oct. 23) at a linkurl:Senate hearing;http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Hearings.Hearing&Hearing_ID=ab4f7563-802a-23ad-468e-b225c43aef22 about the public health effects of climate change. But according to a linkurl:story;http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5inODG24ecfdaA-wDYGJMdlIfeVUA in the AP (thanks, linkurl:WSJ Health Blog;http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2007/10/24/cdc-climate-testimony-eviscerated-by-white-house/ ), six pages detaili

By | October 25, 2007

CDC director Julie Gerberding spoke on Tuesday (Oct. 23) at a linkurl:Senate hearing;http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Hearings.Hearing&Hearing_ID=ab4f7563-802a-23ad-468e-b225c43aef22 about the public health effects of climate change. But according to a linkurl:story;http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5inODG24ecfdaA-wDYGJMdlIfeVUA in the AP (thanks, linkurl:WSJ Health Blog;http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2007/10/24/cdc-climate-testimony-eviscerated-by-white-house/ ), six pages detailing those problems were removed from the final report by the linkurl:White House;http://www.the-scientist.com/2006/10/1/32/1/ Office of Management and Budget. Apparently, it's routine for the OMB to look over documents before they are presented in hearings. But the draft Gerberding read was half as long as the one she submitted, and removed from it were "specific scientific references to potential health risks" of climate change. (The AP obtained a draft of the original submission.) One cut sentence reads, "Despite this extensive activity, the public health effects of climate change remain largely unaddressed. CDC considers climate change a serious public health concern." A CDC official who was familiar with both the submitted and final version of the testimony, but who wished to remain anonymous, told the AP that the report was "eviscerated." The OMB objected to the characterization of their editing of Gerberding's report. "She testified yesterday. Her spokesperson said that she was able to say everything she wanted to say," Perino told the AP. "It was not watered down in terms of its science. It wasn't watered down in terms of the concerns that climate change raises for public health."

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