Washington, DC (October 23, 2007)- The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a hearing to investigate the human health risks associated with global warming. The witnesses included Julie L. Gerberding, M.D., director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who testified that it is not a question of whether there will be health effects from global warming, but rather “it’s a question of who, where, when and how.”
Among the risks, Gerberding said, were increased rates of asthma and cardiovascular diseases, malaria, dengue, malnutrition, migration and premature death. Susan R. Cooper, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Health and speaking for the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, also noted that global warming “has the potential to place unprecedented demands on public health infrastructure.”
Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), chairwoman of the Committee, has since criticized the White House for editing out at least seven pages of the testimony submitted by Dr. Gerberding and requested the release of documents detailing how and why the testimony was edited. “I am deeply concerned that important scientific and health information was removed from the CDC Director’s testimony at the last minute,” Sen. Boxer said in a letter to the White House. Dana Perino, a spokeswoman for the White House, said that no censoring of the testimony took place. “It was not watered-down in terms of its science. It wasn’t watered-down in terms of the concerns that climate change raises for public health,” she said.
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