For Immediate Release: Aug 14, 2019
Contact: Kirsten Stade (202) 265-7337
Centers Suppress Climate Lead for Drawing Congressional Oversight
Washington, DC – The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are again going after the former head of its now-dissolved Climate & Public Health Program. Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) is asking the U.S. Office of Special Counsel to confer whistleblower status on the embattled scientist and to protect him from further retaliation at CDC.
“The CDC is engaging in a relentless campaign to retaliate against a public critic of its efforts to dismantle its climate and health program,” said PEER Staff Counsel Kevin Bell. “As our climate spins out of control, bureaucrats eager to please the Trump Administration have worked feverishly to destroy the reputations of climate scientists who stand in its way.”
Dr. George Luber, Ph.D., was the “go to” person across the entire federal government for all climate and public health questions, highly sought after for media appearances, and a lead author for national and international reports on the growing climate crisis. After the 2016 election, CDC leadership began dismantling its Climate Change & Public Health Program, rolling it into a larger unrelated branch studying asthma and indoor air pollution.
Unfortunately, CDC targeted Dr. Luber as well in that he:
- Is barred from talking publicly about climate change;
- Is placed on a security BOLO (Be on the Lookout) list and forbidden to go on the CDC campus without permission and is subject to search upon arrival; and
- Now faces a proposed 120-day suspension based on charges first lodged last October, that were withdrawn in December after media inquiries.
Meanwhile, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce is seeking answers from the CDC about what happened to appropriated funds that are supposed to be devoted to work on climate and public health. Dr. Luber had also blown the whistle on diversion of funding and staff to unrelated projects.
“It is concerning that the very serious public health concerns stemming from climate change have been removed from the CDC agenda,” added Bell, noting that this May Dr. Luber received the First Amendment Award from the Hugh M. Hefner Foundation for his undiminished activism on the issue. “Our nation’s need to confront inconvenient truths, such as those being uncovered by Dr. Luber, has never been greater.”