Say It Ain’t So, President-Elect O
Thursday, November 06, 2008 at 11:42 am
Some science bloggers are alarmed by predictions in the news that President-elect Barack Obama intends to appoint Robert F. Kennedy Jr. as head of the Environmental Protection Agency.
After eight years in which the Bush administration trashed science to favor a political agenda, these blogger are saying that Kennedy would be a most injudicious choice, since he’s just as liable to politicize science as the other guys did, only from the left.
The crassest example was Kennedy’s error- and slander-filled “investigative” article in Rolling Stone magazine, in which he voiced the discredited claim that the Centers for Disease Control and drug companies had conspired to poison American children with the mercury-containing preservative thimerosal in vaccines.
During the campaign, anti-vaccine advocates asked Obama and Sen. John McCain to comment on whether they thought parents should have the right to skip vaccines they feared. McCain hemmed and hawed, while Obama said he thought children should get all the recommended vaccines. Obama apparently was influenced on this by his senior adviser Michael Strautmanis, who reportedly has an autistic child. Sources in the autistic parents’ community say that Strautmanis set Obama straight about the lack of any link between vaccines and autism.
If this is true, Kennedy would be a surprising choice.
Correction: The original version of this post should have listed Obama adviser Michael Strautmanis as having an autistic child, not David Axelrod. We regret the error.
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