Senate Democrats say they want to investigate the circumstances involved in the editing of CDC Director Julie L. Gerberding's written testimony to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on "climate change and public health." Gerberding testimony shrank from 12 pages to six after it was reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.
The OMB removed several sections of the testimony that detailed how global warming would affect Americans, according to White House spokeswoman Dana Perino, because John H. Marburger III, who directs the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and his staff questioned whether Gerberding's statements matched those released this year by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
"As I understand it, in the draft there was broad characterizations about climate change science that didn't align with the IPCC," Perino told reporters yesterday. "When you try to summarize what is a very complicated issue and you have many different experts who have a lot of opinions, and you get testimony less than 24 hours before it's going to be given, you -- scientists across the administration were taking a look at it, and there were a decision that she would focus where she is an expert, which is on CDC."
White House officials eliminated several successive pages of Gerberding's testimony, beginning with a section in which she planned to say that many organizations are working to address climate change but that, "despite this extensive activity, the public health effects of climate change remain largely unaddressed," and that the "CDC considers climate change a serious public concern."
In another deleted part of her original testimony, the CDC director predicted that areas in the northern United States "will likely bear the brunt of increases in ground-level ozone and associated airborne pollutants. Populations in mid-western and northeastern cities are expected to experience more heat-related illnesses as heat waves increase in frequency, severity and duration."...