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Pro-family leaders criticize newly selected CDC director

WASHINGTON (BP)–The newly appointed director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is not the right person for the job, two pro-family leaders say.

Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson announced July 3 that Julie Gerberding has been selected to head the CDC. Gerberding, an infectious disease expert, played a major role in developing the CDC’s response to the mysterious anthrax attacks that targeted United States postal facilities last fall, according to CNS News.

Focus on the Family President James Dobson, however, said in a written statement the country “needs a bold, proven leader who will help undo the damage the ‘safe-sex’ message has created. Dr. Gerberding is not that person.

“We are baffled as to why President Bush would appoint someone so out of step with his stated priorities. She has no apparent concern about the ineffectiveness of condom usage nor any stated disagreement with the positions of the homosexual activist movement or with the provision of free needles to drug users. To the contrary, her writings clearly show that she believes the ‘safe-sex’ lie that has entrapped millions of our teenagers ­- many of whom are now fighting incurable sexually transmitted diseases,” Dobson said.

Michael Schwartz, vice president for government relations at Concerned Women for America, expressed doubt Gerberding possessed the traits needed to “straighten out an agency that is so far off course,” CNSNews.com reported. “The issue is the CDC, and that’s what we’ve been trying to tell the administration,” he said.

The CDC has become “a menace to the public health,” Schwartz said. “In the first place, they are fueling the HIV epidemic, not only by failing to take reasonable, ordinary public health measures against the epidemic but by actually handing over enormous sums of money to organizations that promote the very behaviors that cause the spread of HIV infection.”

Some of the programs that have received federally funded CDC grants have been termed “obscene” by the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services, Schwartz said.

For example, The Washington Times reported that the listing of “youth” resources on a CDC website “includes a link to the Coalition for Positive Sexuality, a self-described ‘guerrilla sex education’ group.”

“If you think you might be queer, relax!” the CPS site instructs visitors. “If you think you are queer, try to find a lesbian/bisexual/gay/transgender community center near you, where you can meet other queers your age.”

The American Psychological Association’s Education Directorate has implemented the Healthy Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Students Project with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Adolescent and School Health.

According to the APA website, the five-year project “seeks to reduce the risks of HIV infection, unintended pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and address other salient health issues of LGB youth.”

“The whole CDC, frankly, has been sort of a bottomless trough of money for every kind of radical left-wing interest group,” Schwartz said.

Gerberding has been acting principal deputy director of the CDC and has served as part of the leadership team at the agency since former director Jeffrey Koplan resigned March 31. She has also served as acting deputy director of the CDC’s National Center for Infectious Diseases.

The CDC under Koplan’s direction was essentially a “politicized agency that had lost its mission,” Schwartz charged. Gerberding, the agency’s new director, isn’t responsible for the agency falling off course, Schwartz said. However, Gerberding was a deputy director in Koplan’s “regime,” he said.

“If you want to change the course of an agency like that, you don’t promote the deputy director who was there and watched all this stuff go on,” Schwartz said. “Nothing could be clearer from her record than the fact that she is not the kind of confrontational person who is willing to stand up against the left-wing forces that control CDC. She will be putty in their hands.”

Others were more positive about the selection, according to CNSNews.com.

Gerberding’s appointment “looks encouraging,” said Maureen F. O’Leary, executive director of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. “From what I understand and what we know of her efforts in bio-terrorism and HIV, we certainly are encouraged that she’s a good choice.”

The GLMA is a “specialty society” of the American Medical Association that advocates improved health care for homosexuals, bisexuals and transsexuals, O’Leary said.

O’Leary said the GLMA would like to “make certain” Gerberding will follow some of the recommendations of the Healthy People 2010 Companion Document for LGBT Health, a comprehensive homosexual health manual “written by and for health-care consumers, providers, researchers, educators, government agencies, schools, clinics, advocates and health professionals in all settings.”

The Healthy People document contains 18 pages of recommendations for schools to “protect [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] youth from violence and harassment” and to provide “health education materials” to medical personnel that are “culturally specific to address the needs of transgender people and other sexual minorities.”

But O’Leary said the GLMA still has “a lot of research” to do on Gerberding before the group can really get a grasp for how her appointment will affect the primarily homosexual medical association’s 2,000-plus members.

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