PRESS CONFERENCE ON WHITE HOUSE EDITS TO CDC TESTIMONY
October 25, 2007
Senator Barbara Boxer Talking Points (Remarks as prepared for delivery)
On Tuesday October 23, 2007 Dr. Julie Gerberding, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) testified before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works regarding the public health implications of global warming.
It was brought to my attention that Dr. Gerberding's written testimony was heavily edited during the review process coordinated by the White House's Office of Management and Budget, to remove most of the specific information about the health impacts of global warming.
An earlier version of her testimony was 12 pages long. The version she submitted to the Committee was just 6 pages long, and most of the specific information on global warming and public health was gone. A CDC source described it as "eviscerated." [CHART: Wash Post Graphic]
At a White House press briefing the following morning , White House Press Secretary Dana Perino was asked why this material was cut. She claimed that the reason for the edits was that the CDC testimony was inconsistent with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on the same topic. [CHART: Perino Quote]
All you have to do is look at the scientific reports to find support for the material that was cut from Dr. Gerberding's testimony is supported by the findings of the IPCC. [CHART: Side by Side comparison]
I agree with Ms. Perino that the IPCC is the place to look for authoritative information on climate change. The IPCC shared the Nobel Peace Prize this year with former Vice President Al Gore.
Nevertheless, they chose to cloak their edits to her testimony in the mantle of science.
The IPCC encompasses the work of more than 2,000 of the world's leading climate scientists. In four groundbreaking reports over the past few months, the IPCC has galvanized the world's attention on the overwhelming scientific consensus on this issue.
I have sent a letter to the President to ensure that the public receives a full accounting of what occurred during that review process, and who was involved. I have asked for copies of all versions of the CDC testimony, and all related records.
This is yet another example of this Administration interfering with the public's right to know all the scientific facts about issues that affect the environment, their health and the health of their families and communities. The Administration has time and again changed scientific reports when the science did not align with the Administration's policy positions.
This pattern has to stop now, and that is the message we are sending to White House today.