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Julie Gerberding Set to Resign as CDC Director
January 10, 2009 9:04 PM   Subscribe

Julie Louise Gerberding, M.D., M.P.H., first female director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is resigning her post effective January 20th. While subject to criticism for her management of the agency and failure to mollify the autism community over issues of vaccine safety, she was a straight (if silenced) shooter on global warming and her efforts to restructure the CDC as a prevention-oriented agency are to be commended.
posted by The White Hat (27 comments total)

 
The fact that she's a "straight shooter" on global warming may be related to the fact that she couldn't "mollify" people about Thiomersal.
posted by delmoi at 9:12 PM on January 10, 2009


Yeah, way to link to the crazies about autism!
posted by Justinian at 9:20 PM on January 10, 2009


The fact that she's a "straight shooter" on global warming may be related to the fact that she couldn't "mollify" people about Thiomersal.

Being as autism rates haven't declined since the Thiomersal was removed from vaccines, and that study after study after study has shown a total lack of connection between vaccines and autism, I'm gonna go ahead and say that there's no connection and that I am deeply, deeply disappointed to see you of all people peddling that crap.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:22 PM on January 10, 2009 [22 favorites]


People with crackpot theories don't deserve to be mollified. I'm sorry your children are sick, but that doesn't make you a scientist. I'm looking at you, Jenny McCarthy.
posted by 1adam12 at 9:23 PM on January 10, 2009 [8 favorites]


Scientists have also had a hard time mollifying the flat earth community on the subject of the planet's spheroidalism.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:23 PM on January 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


This weekend Julie Gerberding, the head of the CDC, appeared on Dr. Sanjay Gupta's show, House Call, and explained that vaccines can trigger autism in a vulnerable subset of children.

So further proof that doctors aren't scientists then. Since there's not a single credible source linking autism to vaccines.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 9:24 PM on January 10, 2009


Pope's right.

My post looks like it supports the correlation between thiomersal and autism. There's no proof of such a thing, and an independent committee confirmed it. I think an edit might be in order to more clearly present that.
posted by The White Hat at 9:27 PM on January 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


But what did she think of cat declawing, circumcision, the Gaza strip, and Pitchforkmedia lists?
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:29 PM on January 10, 2009


doctors aren't scientists

Bears repeating.

Some doctotors are scientists, but being a medical doctor doesn't make one also a scientist.


Doctors try lots of shit and (the good ones, at least) keep doing shit that kinda works. Scientists figure out how the shit doesn't work and why when it does... and come up with stuff that should/ought-to/maybe- work that the doctors get the credit for.
posted by porpoise at 9:39 PM on January 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


I heard she feels there isn't enough proof to link HIV to AIDS.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 9:40 PM on January 10, 2009


But what did she think of cat declawing, circumcision, the Gaza strip, and Pitchforkmedia lists?

I submitted these questions to the CDC press office and here are the answers:

Declawing - she's allergic to cats
Circumcision - No skin off her...nah, too easy.
the Gaza strip - She prefers a Brazilian
Pitchforkmedia lists - She's more of an AP person.
posted by MikeMc at 9:55 PM on January 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


[edited post as The White Hat requested]
posted by mathowie at 9:58 PM on January 10, 2009


Being as autism rates haven't declined since the Thiomersal was removed from vaccines, and that study after study after study has shown a total lack of connection between vaccines and autism, I'm gonna go ahead and say that there's no connection and that I am deeply, deeply disappointed to see you of all people peddling that crap.

I think you may need to take your irony meter in for some service.

(People who don't believe in the wacky pseudo science of global warming denial are less likely going to buy the wacky pseudo-science that says thimerisol -> Autism. Those two views have the same root cause: Not being crazy. A sane person may have trouble mollifying crazy people. Thus the joke. /John Kerry (seek to 3:50))
posted by delmoi at 10:18 PM on January 10, 2009


I'm looking at you, Jenny McCarthy.

I saw this woman on Oprah recently. There was a moment there, when Oprah begins, "So, your son is autistic ..." and McCarthy corrects her, "Was autistic. He's fine now." She then started talking about gluten-free diets and fresh fruits. You could see audience members look at each other questioningly, and kind of shift in their seats a little. That's saying a lot for an Oprah audience.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:36 PM on January 10, 2009 [6 favorites]


Good riddance Dr. Gerberding.
posted by mlis at 10:49 PM on January 10, 2009


I'm sorry, delmoi. I heard a whooshing sound and didn't recognize it.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:51 PM on January 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Scientists have also had a hard time mollifying the flat earth community on the subject of the planet's spheroidalism.

Metatalk's not doing much better.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:56 PM on January 10, 2009


I started to read some of of what she had done and then stopped. I dind't think she was that effective. Your first link is obvious propaganda and should be ignored. The second, I don't know quite what to make of 'an effective communicator with legislators and the public' who's going to Africa. When they start to talk about diets and mollifying autism syndrome — Very wrong. She is human and open to mistakes, some more serious than others. She has caused some peoples lives to be harder than they should. She has to live with that.
posted by tellurian at 3:46 AM on January 11, 2009


Yeah, she's been a failure as a manager, and discontent at CDC is rampant among scientists and public health specialists. It has little to do with her beliefs about controversial issues and more to do with incompetence as a manager, as I understand it. Good riddance seems to be almost the consensus among CDC lifers.

Vaccine/autism bullshit is like fluoride bullshit. The more you confront believers with the proven facts, the angrier and stupider they get in response. They are best mocked and ignored. There is no point arguing with them.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:58 AM on January 11, 2009


Also, Obama asked her to resign. Whatever that tells us.

Here's a crucial site -- CDC Chatter. Not a pretty picture for those of us who are counting on CDC to do its job. You can read the thoughts of a lot of CDC employees speaking their minds there.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:00 AM on January 11, 2009


This weekend Julie Gerberding, the head of the CDC, appeared on Dr. Sanjay Gupta's show, House Call, and explained that vaccines can trigger autism in a vulnerable subset of children.

I guess that she was talking about this, which is a pretty special case.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 9:00 AM on January 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Vaccine/autism bullshit is like fluoride bullshit. The more you confront believers with the proven facts, the angrier and stupider they get in response. They are best mocked and ignored. There is no point arguing with them.

My younger son is Autistic. My wife and I went down the GFCF diet path for a while, we had our son tested for high mercury (and other heavy metal) levels, we consulted a DAN! doctor etc... Some of the "alternative" therapies for Autism strike me as sketchy, others down right dangerous. We now have stopped looking for a "silver bullet" and we are concentrating on ABA therapy and working on incremental gains. I understand where these people are coming from though, desperation is a hell of a drug.
posted by MikeMc at 9:03 AM on January 11, 2009 [3 favorites]


As I understand things, the literature supports the hypothesis that vaccinations have no relation to autism, but not the somewhat stronger hypothesis that people who think differently live in an ignorant fairyland.
self-link, many caveats attached, etc. But name-calling does nobody any good.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 9:21 AM on January 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


From your link, fantabulous:

I'm not terribly familiar with the autism-vaccine argument; my wife and I satisfied ourselves that we ought to vaccinate our children, and we di

Pardon me for not taking this person's summary of the research and coincidental finding that people who "think differently" about vaccines aren't just thinking stupidly.

Think differently all you like. But act like a member of society, please.
posted by fourcheesemac at 9:49 AM on January 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


she's as much of a fraud as the rest of them.
posted by brandz at 10:34 AM on January 11, 2009


Also, Obama asked her to resign.

Actually Bush asked her to resign and accepted her resignation. It's SOP for political appointees who serve at the pleasure of the President to submit resignations prior to the start of the incoming administration.
posted by weebil at 11:07 AM on January 11, 2009


fourcheesemac, I didn't mean to imply in my essay that no one from fairyland has a finger in that argument. I'll freely admit that essay makes a subtle point, and perhaps makes it in an opaque way. If you have suggestions for how I could clarify it or amend it, I'd love to incorporate them.

If, on the other hand, I've gotten on your "mock and ignore" list, then cheers.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 11:08 AM on January 11, 2009


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