The former Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona accused the Bush Administration with interfering and banning him from reporting on important public health issues. He told a Congressional panel Tuesday, that the administration would not allow him to address reports about stem cell research, emergency contraception, sex education, second hand smoke, global warning, and other mental and global health issues.
“Anything that doesn’t fit into the political appointees’ ideological, theological or political agenda is ignored, marginalized or simply buried,” Dr. Richard Carmona, who served as the nation’s top doctor from 2002 until 2006, told a House of Representatives committee.
“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,”
Carmona is just one of former and present top officials who say that politics has become more important than science in many governmental and scientific agencies that used to be nonpartisan. He spoke to several past Surgeon Generals and they stated that they had to deal with political opposition about important topics such as AIDS and needle-exchange programs.
Dr. Carmona’s testimony was given only two days before the Senate confirmation hearings of his designated successor, Dr. James W. Holsinger. Holsinger has already received criticism because he wrote in a 1991 report that homosexual sex was unnatural and unhealthy. Carmona’s testimony will further complicate Holsinger’s nomination.