Monday, July 30, 2007

Bush Health Official: The Public Must NOT Learn The Facts

We got yet another Michael “Brownie, you’re doin’ a heckuva job” Brown type in the Bush administration. This time it’s a never-qualified Bush political hack killing official reporting of the Surgeon General.
Bush Aide Blocked Report

By Christopher Lee and Marc Kaufman
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, July 29, 2007; A01

A surgeon general's report in 2006 that called on Americans to help tackle global health problems has been kept from the public by a Bush political appointee without any background or expertise in medicine or public health, chiefly because the report did not promote the administration's policy accomplishments, according to current and former public health officials.

(Here is his picture, this is the guy without any background or expertise in medicine or public health who kept the surgeon general’s report from being released to the public:)

The report described the link between poverty and poor health, urged the U.S. government to help combat widespread diseases as a key aim of its foreign policy, and called on corporations to help improve health conditions in the countries where they operate. A copy of the report was obtained by The Washington Post.

Three people directly involved in its preparation said its publication was blocked by William R. Steiger, a specialist in education and a scholar of Latin American history whose family has long ties to President Bush and Vice President Cheney. Since 2001, Steiger has run the Office of Global Health Affairs in the Department of Health and Human Services.

(Here is how Steiger responded to the charge that he has no background at all in medicine or public health and that he got the job because he was a political hack who would suppress surgeon general reports if they didn’t puff the administration:)

...(Former Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona) told lawmakers that, as he fought to release the document, he was "called in and again admonished . . . via a senior official who said, 'You don't get it.' " He said a senior official told him that "this will be a political document, or it will not be released."

(Here is how the 37 year old Steiger looked when he told the Surgeon General that he did not "get it," that his report on health would not be released if he does not turn it into a pro-Bush political document.)

...After a long struggle that pitted top scientific and medical experts inside and outside the government against Steiger and his political bosses, Carmona refused to make the requested changes, according to the officials. Carmona engaged in similar fights over other public health reports, including an unpublished report on prison health. A few days before the end of his term as the nation's senior medical officer, he was abruptly told he would not be reappointed.

(In this picture, Steiger has just told Carmona that he will no longer be surgeon general. The press was calling Steiger for comment when this picture was being taken, but Steiger would not answer the phone. He just stared and smiled, and let the phone ring and ring and ring...)

...Steiger said that "political considerations" did not delay the report; "sloppy work, poor analysis, and lack of scientific rigor did." Asked about the report's handling, an HHS spokeswoman said Friday that it is still "under development."

("Mr. Steiger, how does your life experience and background--a Latin American studies degree-- qualify you to dismiss a serious study by the nation’s public health experts and call it “sloppy and lacking in scientific rigor?” Steiger's response:)

...The draft report itself, in language linking public health problems with violence and other social ills, says "we cannot overstate . . . that problems in remote parts of the globe can no longer be ignored. Diseases that Americans once read about as affecting people in regions . . . most of us would never visit are now capable of reaching us directly. The hunger, disease, and death resulting from poor food and nutrition create social and political instability . . . and that instability may spread to other nations as people migrate to survive."

(Here is Steiger reacting to the news that “diseases that Americans once read about as affecting people in regions . . . most of us would never visit are now capable of reaching us directly.” He looks like he’s okay with that, and even if he isn’t, he looks happy about the good job he did suppressing that finding.)

(The surgeon general’s report’s) underlying message is that disease and suffering do not respect political boundaries in an era of globalization and mass population movements.

("Mr. Steiger—don’t you think it’s important for the American people to be told that disease and suffering do not respect political boundaries in an era of globalization and mass population movements?" Steiger's response:)

...The report was compiled by government and private public-health experts from various organizations, including the National Institutes of Health, the Catholic Medical Mission Board and several universities.

("Mr. Steiger—don’t those public and private heath experts have more expertise than you do on health issues? How the hell can you, a silly little 37 year old jerkoff with a mere Latin American studies degree, dismiss the work of so many experts in the medical and public health fields as “sloppy”--and then attempt to suppress it entirely? You are not even slightly qualified for the appointment you accepted, are you, Steiger? You’re just a Bush lackey, another “Brownie,” aren’t you?" Steiger's response:)

...Richard Walling, a former career official in the HHS global health office who oversaw the draft, said Steiger was the official who blocked its release. "Steiger always had his political hat on," he said. "I don't think public health was what his vision was. As far as the international office was concerned, it was a political office of the secretary. . . . What he was looking for, and in general what he was always looking for, was, 'How do we promote the policies and the programs of the administration?' This report didn't focus on that."

("We’re not paying you to run the HHS as a publicity service for the Bush administration, Steiger, we’re paying you to get the facts out. How did you even get this job, Steiger, you fact-suppressing dick?" Steiger's response:)

...Steiger, 37, (THIRTY SEVEN YEARS OLD?) is a godson of former president George H.W. Bush and the son of a moderate Republican who represented Wisconsin in the House and hired a young Dick Cheney as an intern. The elder Bush appointed Steiger's mother to the Federal Trade Commission in 1989. A biographical sketch of her on the American Bar Association's Web site states that Steiger's parents, now deceased, were "lifelong friends" of many members of the same congressional class, including the Rumsfelds and the Bushes.

(There were about one hundred thousand people in America more qualified to do your job than you are, weren't there, Mr. Steiger? And there are about 170 million people more principled. Now get out of here, you political hack who only got the job because he had Bush family connections. And wipe that stupid fucking expression off your face, Steiger.)



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