Monday, February 4, 2013

CDC Refuses Reporter Permission to Speak to Experts After More than 20 Requests Over Five Weeks

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention denied me permission to speak to any expert on male circumcision over a five-week period in October and November 2011 during which I made more than 20 requests.

 My audience was tens of thousands of physicians.

The CDC website indicated the agency had been working on the circumcision recommendations for well over two years.

After numerous contacts, I emailed Kevin Fenton, director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, with questions including:
---Are the subject matter experts prohibited from speaking to the press on this topic? Why can't my audience get an update on the status of the recommendations and the process from a subject matter expert? I've been told it's premature to talk about the issue. How can anything that is the public's business ever be premature?

I never received answers from Dr. Fenton and was never allowed to speak to a subject matter expert.

Kathryn Foxhall
Freelance health care reporter
Washington, D.C., area

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