It’s another chapter of a disturbing and repeating story: Where good science conflicts with the aims of the Administration, science loses. Stir in the arrogant ignorance of yet another unqualified Republican political hack. This story is from today’s Washington Post:
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.
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.
Who kept the report from being published? William R. Steiger, who has no background in public health. What qualifications does he have to hold a job running the Office of Global Health Affairs in the Department of Health and Human Services?
Steiger, 37, 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.