White House muzzled Surgeon General
Stop me if this sounds familiar:
Former Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona told a Congressional committee today that top officials in the Bush administration repeatedly tried to weaken or suppress important public health reports because of political considerations.
Dr. Carmona, who served as surgeon general from 2002 to 2006, said White House officials would not allow him to speak or issue reports about stem cells, emergency contraception, sex education, or prison, mental and global health issues because of political concerns. Top administration officials delayed for years and attempted to “water down” a landmark report on secondhand tobacco smoke, he said in sworn testimony before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
You have to sympathize with the administration when, as Stephen Colbert once put it, "the facts have an anti-Bush bias."
It gets better.
He was ordered to mention President Bush three times on every page of every speech he gave, Dr. Carmona said. He was asked to make speeches to support Republican political candidates and to attend political briefings, at least one of which included Karl Rove, the president’s senior political adviser, he said.
And administration officials even discouraged him from attending the Special Olympics because, he said, of that charitable organization’s longtime ties to the Kennedy family.
“I was specifically told by a senior person, ‘Why would you want to help those people?’ ” Dr. Carmona said.
The full text of Carmona's opening statement (as well as video of the hearing and statements from two other former surgeon generals (C. Everett Koop and David Satcher) is available here. Some highlights are picked out in the committee's blog.
Can we just ignore everything said by this administration for the next 18 months? Pretend they're not in the room? Sell their stuff on eBay? Maybe a good shunning is what the White House needs in order for them to understand how sick we are of them politicizing everything.
surgeon general, Carmona, politics, midtopia