On May 24, 2007, President Bush nominated Dr. James Holsiner, Jr as the United States Surgeon General. The seat was left vacant in August of 2006 by former Surgeon General Dr. Richard Carmona. PR Newswire released a report Thursday from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) who is in opposition of this nomination. The AHF stated in their press release the public health of the nation should always take top priority over politics.
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation services more than 50,000 people in 15 countries. They are saying that distance must be put between the White House and the Surgeon General’s office. AHF does not want the Bush Administration nor his predecessors to “politicize the sacred trust of the Surgeon General to safeguard and protect the health and welfare of the public.”
AHF reported concerns in how fairly Dr. Holsinger will represent the entire public in this new role as Surgeon General. These concerns come from earlier research and writings done by Dr. Holsinger. The term “homophobic” was used to describe the writings. AHF also cited a report in the Wall Street Journal where former Surgeon General Dr. Carmona revealed to a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that his speeches were monitored by the Bush Administration.
The report released to PR Newswire quoted the President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Michael Weinstein, as saying, “Our message is crystal clear: protecting the public health of our nation’s citizens must always trump politics, and we must do everything we can to protect the Surgeon General from political meddling and manipulation.” Weinstein further stated,”No matter if it’s Democratic or Republican Administration, people need to trust that ‘the nation’s doctor’ is truly that — not just some figurehead carrying political water for cronies that they may or may not agree with. AIDS Healthcare Foundation gladly supports the call in today’s New York Times’ editorial which proposes that Congress gives the surgeon general’s office its own staff and budget and ‘…could ban any effort to censor or delay the surgeon general’s reports and speeches’.”
A visit to the AIDS Health web site shows that this organization is worldwide. They offer a variety of services to it’s membership. AHF is actively involved in politics to protect the rights of those diagnosed with AIDS. AHF advocates safe sex practices and even protested CBS and FOX for what they referred to as “peddling sex” but banning condom commercials.
Source: AIDS Health.org, press news; PR Newswire, Politics and Surgeon General’s Office don’t Mix; Wall Street Journal Health Blog, Former Surgeon General says Bush Administration Muzzled Him