July 17, 2005

Interesting Choice of a Spokesperson for the CDC

So I read an article on Tanja Popovic, MD, Ph.D., who is the woman that the CDC chose to represent them in the CBS story on RFK’s accusations against them in the thimerosal/autism debate. Dr. Popovic is the Acting Associate Director for Science, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She is formerly the Chief of the Epidemiologic Investigations Laboratory CDC, National Center for Infectious Diseases Division of Bacterial & Mycotic Disease, Meningitis and Special Pathogens Branch; and has worked like a dog and testified before congress on the Anthrax threat.

God bless her for that.

It suddenly occurred to me that, while her resume is impressive, she is not really the right choice for the CDC to represent them and their position on the causes of autism.

Her bio from the CDCs web site:

Popovic started her career at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellow. Now chief of Epidemiologic Investigations Laboratory, Meningitis and Special Pathogens Branch, Dr. Popovic is an expert in laboratory aspects of anthrax, brucellosis, melioidosis, and glanders. In addition to bioterrorism preparedness and response, her research interests include laboratory diagnosis and molecular epidemiology of bacterial vaccine-preventable diseases. Dr. Popovic, who has published more than 100 articles in her diverse areas of research, is co-director of the World Health Organization's Collaborating Center for the Prevention and Control of Epidemic Meningitis. She is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, a member of the American Society for Microbiology International Committee, and a Waksman Foundation Lecturer.

She is a specialist in infectious diseases and autism is not an infectious disease. It is a genetic disease, an environmental injury, an autoimmune disorder or some combination of all three. So why not put up a geneticist, toxicologist or an immunologist?

Why instead would you offer up someone who presumably is not an autism specialist nor a mercury specialist and would have such a vested interest in the vaccine program, if your intent is to calm the fears of the public that thimerosal is safe?

Why didn’t Dr. Howard Frumkin, new head of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, HHS’s agency that deals with toxic injury like mercury, get in front of the camera for CBS and defend the injection of this toxic substance into the bloodstreams of infants?

So many questions.

I think I will make a few phone calls and see if I can see why they didn’t go with a toxicologist.

In the mean time, for your reading pleasure, here is ATSDRs info sheet on mercury. Don't miss the "How can mercury effect children?" section on page 2.

What's that? It can cause an, "inability to speak"???? You don't say....

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