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Friday, May 15

Say, whatever happened to that 2007 Senate subcommittee report on CDC fraud, waste, galloping mission creep, and failure to control disease?

President Obama will announce today that Thomas Frieden, M.D., the New York City health commissioner, is his pick to become the CDC director.

Frieden has been at his post since 2002. He's an infectious disease specialist who's credited with leading successful battles against tuberculosis epidemics in New York City and India. He has worked for the CDC before and with WHO.

He seems a very energetic fellow. We'll see if he can get the CDC on track. However, the 2007 subcommittee report (PDF) reveals deeply entrenched problems with the agency. (Thanks to CGardner for alerting me to the report.) Just the report's introduction and table of contents are unsettling reading:
A review of how an agency tasked with fighting and preventing disease has spent hundreds of millions of tax dollars for failed prevention efforts, international junkets, and lavish facilities, but cannot demonstrate it is controlling disease.

THE UNITED STATES SENATE
SUBCOMMITTEE ON FEDERAL FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT,
GOVERNMENT INFORMATION AND INTERNATIONAL SECURITY
MINORITY OFFICE
UNDER THE DIRECTION OF SENATOR TOM COBURN
RANKING MINORITY MEMBER
JUNE 2007

[...]
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
I. BACKGROUND

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
• CDC’s History
• CDC’s Funding

II. FINDINGS

CDC Facilities: Lavish Spending or Priority Needs?

• CDC’s $106 million Thomas R. Harkin Global Communications (and Visitor) Center

• CDC’s new $109.8 million Arlen Specter Headquarters and Emergency Operations
Center has $10 million in furniture

• CDC’s $200,000 fitness center includes $30,000 saunas and rotating light shows

• CDC’s new Hawaii office announced by Hawaii Senator who oversees CDC funds
CDC Targets Diseases … Results Still Pending

CDC’s prevention funding for HIV/AIDS: $5 billion over seven years

• Of CDC’s $2.6 billion in HIV/AIDS grants, some have no objectives and are “abysmal,” yet funded anyway

• CDC’s domestic HIV/AIDS program: results not demonstrated

• CDC-funded events featuring porn stars, transgender beauty pageants, and flirting classes

• CDC’s $45 million for conferences featuring prostitutes, protests, and beach parties

• CDC announces plan to eliminate syphilis: five years later rates up overall and 68
percent among men

• CDC’s $335 million kid-targeted media campaign to fight obesity: advertising success but health impact unknown

• CDC addresses serious health issues like land development and bike paths

• CDC and guns as a “health problem”

CDC’s Statistic Problems and Fraud

• CDC revises U.S. obesity deaths by 1,400 percent in nine months

• CDC Inspector General investigations find over $1 million in fraud in just three cases

It Pays to be a CDC Employee

• CDC pays $1.7 million to Hollywood liaison; ex-employee runs liaison shop

• CDC’s top financial officers take home a quarter of a million dollars in bonuses

• The revolving door: how a former CDC executive lands CDC contracts worth millions
for minority-owned companies

• CDC pays two former employees $250,000 to help build morale

• HHS Secretary uses CDC’s leased jet for meetings and speeches: CDC defends use

How CDC Funding is Counterintuitive

• CDC-funded bar night and manual on how to throw an alcohol party

• CDC sets bioterrorism results-oriented goals after spending billions

III. RECOMMENDATIONS
IV. CONCLUSION
APPENDIX
• AIDS Funding Chart

Comments:
In the effort to fix the margin on my sidebar, part of which floated to the bottom of page, I deleted a comment -- but because the deletion didn't fix the problem I'm re-inserting it here:

Well Pundita, get ready for some shaking up from Tom Friedan. Dr. Friedan has been called "heavy handed," a "nanny-stater," and a "food fascist."

Google terms to check out with his name include "diabetes tracking," "trans-fat ban," "circumcision," "soft drinks," and "routine HIV testing."
# posted by CGardner : 08:48
 
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