The Corner

Top CDC Official Clueless on WH Vaccine Claims

The Obama administration continues to stumble in its effort to dramatize the impact of sequestration.

During a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing Tuesday morning, Representative Andy Harris (R., Md.) challenged the White House over misleading claims about sequestration’s impact on vaccines for children. Harris asked Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), whether or not he was consulted by the White House regarding its state-by-state report on the negative impact of sequestration. Frieden, curiously, was unable to answer the question. “I would have to get back to you on that,” he said.

In keeping with the administration’s campaign to scare the American public, the report claimed that thousands fewer children would receive vaccinations as a result of the cuts. In Harris’s home state of Maryland, the White House claimed that 2,050 fewer children would be vaccinated.

Harris then noted that the relevant federal program — known as the 317 Immunization Program — had its budget cut by $58 million in President Obama’s most recent budget request, a cut that was opposed by the National Association of County and City Health Officials. That figure is nearly double the amount that must now be cut under sequestration (about $30 million).

“Can I assume that the president’s proposed cut would have reduced funding to 4,100 children in Maryland?” Harris asked. Once again, Frieden said he would “have to get back to you on that,” but ultimately suggested that CDC would have been able avoide reductions in child vaccinations under the president’s lower budget numbers, but not under the smaller cuts mandated by sequestration, which as Harris noted, is a “very interesting” claim. 

Andrew Stiles — Andrew Stiles is a political reporter for National Review Online. He previously worked at the Washington Free Beacon, and was an intern at The Hill newspaper. Stiles is a 2009 ...

Most Popular


How to Bend the News

This, from ABC, is a nice example of a news organization deliberately bending the truth in order to advance a narrative that it wishes were true but is not: Venerable gun manufacturer Colt says it will stop producing the AR-15, among other rifles, for the consumer market in the wake of many recent mass ... Read More

Trump’s Total Culture War

 Donald Trump is waging a nonstop, all-encompassing war against progressive culture, in magnitude analogous to what 19th-century Germans once called a Kulturkampf. As a result, not even former president George W. Bush has incurred the degree of hatred from the left that is now directed at Trump. For most of ... Read More

George Packer Gets Mugged by Reality

Few journalists are as respected by, and respectable to, liberals as The Atlantic’s George Packer. The author of The Assassin's Gate (2005), The Unwinding (2013), and a recently published biography of Richard Holbrooke, Our Man, Packer has written for bastions of liberal thought from the New York Times Magazine ... Read More

Iran’s Act of War

Last weekend’s drone raid on the Saudi oil fields, along with the Israeli elections, opens a new chapter in Middle Eastern relations. Whether the attack on Saudi oil production, which has temporarily stopped more than half of it, was launched by Iranian-sponsored Yemeni Houthis or by the Iranians themselves is ... Read More