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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Bush Administration Cares About Your Health

Saying that the Bush Administration hates science is like saying, Lindsay Lohan is a drinker or Alberto Gonzales is a liar (well, either a liar or just never reads anything that comes across his desk...even the memos labeled "Huge Violations of Individual American's Civil Liberties as Executed by the FBI Under the Patriot Act"), but this story made me chuckle...then cry.

Dr. Richard Carmona, the Nation's most recent Surgeon General, testified today before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The story he told of his tenure as "America's Doctor" painted a picture of an Administration that actively strives to put politics before the health of the nation.

Carmona reported that he was "discouraged" from making a speech at the Special Olympics because of the organization's longtime ties to the Kennedy Family. He said that he was "specifically told by a senior person, ‘Why would you want to help those people?’” (the Kennedy family or the Special Olympics Athletes?)

Carmona was also silenced when he raised the suggestion that he could take on the task of educating the public about the use of stem cells in scientific research. He was told that he should "stand down" on the issue and upon review, Bush advisors removed all references to stem cell research from his prepared speeches.

Carmona also noted that while he is a firm believer in comprehensive sex education, he was told to "preach abstinence".

To wrap it up, Carmona summarized:

"The reality is that the 'nation's doctor' has been marginalized and relegated to a position with no independent budget and with supervisors who are political appointees with partisan agendas. Anything that doesn't fit into the political appointees' ideological, theological or political agenda is ignored, marginalized or simply buried. The problem with this approach is that in public health, as in a democracy, there is nothing worse than ignoring science or marginalizing the voice of science for reasons driven by changing political winds. The job of surgeon general is to be the doctor of the nation — not the doctor of a political party."

Dr. Richard Carmona was appointed by President Bush in 2002 and served until 2006.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

My question is, why would you play the patsy for four years under those conditions? Why not quit and blow the whistle earlier? I don't doubt that his description is accurate, I just think that he found his voice a little late in the game. I don't think I'd want to hang out for four years giving speeches that mention Bush's name a minimum of three times without the words "that idiot" directly preceeding.

4:05 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe he was worried Cheney would shoot him.

4:13 PM


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