We've heard for years now how President Bush's White House has tried to suppress important scientific information on issues from the environment to health care. Now one former top Bush official is talking. The New York Times reports:
WASHINGTON, July 10 — Former Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona told a Congressional panel Tuesday that top Bush administration officials repeatedly tried to weaken or suppress important public health reports because of political considerations.
The administration, Dr. Carmona said, would not allow him to speak or issue reports about stem cells, emergency contraception, sex education, or prison, mental and global health issues. Top officials delayed for years and tried to “water down” a landmark report on secondhand smoke, he said. Released last year, the report concluded that even brief exposure to cigarette smoke could cause immediate harm.
Dr. Carmona said he was ordered to mention President Bush three times on every page of his speeches. He also said he was asked to make speeches to support Republican political candidates and to attend political briefings.
This White House has governed for 6 years as if the health and safety of the American people is secondary to the well-being and profit margin of their largest contributors. Their behavior is deeply immoral. Their disregard for scientific truth in favor of political expediency is sickening.
Update: Check out this quote from The Washington Post's coverage:
"Anything that doesn't fit into the political appointees' ideological, theological or political agenda is often ignored, marginalized or simply buried," he (Carmona) said. "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."
Amen to that.