Policy & Politics
Surgeon General Nominee Holsinger Dismisses Paper on Homosexuality During Senate Testimony
July 13, 2007
President Bush's nominee for surgeon general, James Holsinger, on Thursday during his testimony to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee "sought to distance himself" from a "controversial" paper he wrote on the health of men who have sex with men, saying that the paper is not a scientific document and that many of the issues raised in it are out of date, the Washington Post reports (Lee, Washington Post, 7/13). Bush nominated Holsinger on May 24 to succeed former Surgeon General Richard Carmona, who ended his term last year with no replacement.
Holsinger, Kennedy Comments
Kennedy said many committee members are "concerned about aspects of Dr. Holsinger's record that indicate that Dr. Holsinger has let his ideological beliefs cloud his scientific judgment." He added, "These concerns are serious at any time but all the more so in light of Dr. Carmona's alarming testimony" (Alonso-Zaldivar, Los Angeles Times, 7/13). Kennedy at the start of the hearing said he plans to introduce legislation that would give the surgeon general's office more political independence (New York Times, 7/13). Holsinger during the hearing said that he would resign if pressured to put politics above science but only after trying to inform policymakers on the science and come to a consensus. "Candidly, if I were unable to do that and I was being overridden, if necessary, I would resign," he said (Washington Post, 7/13).
No Democrats during the hearing indicated that they would support Holsinger's nomination, and fewer than half of the HELP committee members attended the hearing (Los Angeles Times, 7/13). Republicans on the panel expressed their support for the nomination, according to the New York Times. The HELP Committee likely will vote on Holsinger's nomination in September (New York Times, 7/13).
C-SPAN video of the complete hearing is available online.
NPR's "All Things Considered" on Thursday reported on the hearing. The segment includes comments from Holsinger; Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.); and Ruth Holsinger, mother of James Holsinger (Silberner, "All Things Considered," NPR, 7/12). Audio and a partial transcript of the segment are available online.
In addition, WBUR's "Here & Now" on Thursday included a discussion with Drew Armstrong, a reporter covering the nomination for Congressional Quarterly. Audio of the segment is available online. Thursday's program also included a discussion with Laurie Garrett, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, about politics and the position of surgeon general ("Here & Now," WBUR, 7/12). Audio of the segment is available online.
Women Using Latex Diaphragm With Condoms Had Same HIV Incidence as Those Who Only Used Condoms, Study Says
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.