USA: Bush’s ex Surgeon General on Bush’s anti science policies

This video from the USA is Hearing on Politicization of Surgeon Generals: Carmona Opening, at the House Oversight Committee.

By Sandy English:

Former surgeon general describes Bush administration’s interference on science and health issues

17 July 2007

The former surgeon general, Richard H. Carmona, testified last week before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and described repeated instances of interference by Bush administration officials in the discussion of public health issues. Carmona gave a glimpse into the behavior of an administration that is politically beholden to right-wing Christian fundamentalist organizations and deeply hostile to science.

Carmona, who has held positions in emergency preparedness in Arizona, related how the administration made decisions about his appearances at functions, his public statements and reports from his office based on political and not scientific considerations. During the national debate on stem cell research, for example, administration officials cautioned him to remain silent, and any references to the issue were removed from his speeches.

He described a meeting where senior White House officials discussed global warming as a “liberal issue without merit.” He told the committee: “I remember thinking, ‘I know why they want me here, they want me to discuss the science; they don’t understand the science.’ So I had this scientific discussion for about a half an hour, and I was never invited back to the meeting.”

On the issue of sexual education Carmona noted, “There was already a policy in place that did not want to hear the science but wanted to preach abstinence only, but I felt that was scientifically incorrect.”

He was discouraged from testifying at a 2005 racketeering trial of tobacco industry executives. Administration officials told the prosecuting lawyers in the case that Carmona was not a competent expert. Carmona testified, and the New York Times quoted Sharon Y. Eubanks, director of the Justice Department’s Tobacco Litigation Team, as saying, “He was one of the most powerful witnesses. His testimony was very important.”

In the final stages of the trial, administration officials intervened to undermine the prosecution case against the tobacco companies.

Carmona alleged that that his superiors in the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) as well as administration officials, whom he refused to identify, attempted to compromise and delay the publication of an important study on the effects of second-hand smoke.

He was discouraged from attending the Special Olympics, a US charity event for the physically and mentally disabled, because, he intimated, the event is associated with the Kennedy family.

Carmona told the committee that his speeches were edited and guidelines were issued by administration operatives. These included an injunction that President Bush be mentioned a minimum of three times per page. He was also encouraged to make speeches on behalf of Republican candidates for public office.

Creationism in Germany: here.

3 thoughts on “USA: Bush’s ex Surgeon General on Bush’s anti science policies

  1. Pingback: Christian fundamentalism in the USA | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Bush opponent wins Nobel prize | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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