Goodbye, Gerber-ding-dong, science calling!

From The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

The controversial tenure of CDC Director Julie Gerberding will end Jan. 20 —- after Barack Obama is sworn in as president, employees of the Atlanta-based agency were informed in an e-mail sent late Friday evening.

Buh-bye, Julie, welcome back, science!

Original DVD cover.

Until a new director is named, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s chief operating officer, Bill Gimson, will be acting director, the e-mail said.


Gerberding was the first woman to lead the agency, which has about 9,000 government employees and 5,000 contract workers.

Gerberding’s six years leading one of the nation’s most trusted institutions were marked by numerous controversies, from allegations that she allowed politics to interfere with science to concerns that her strategic decisions incapacitated the agency’s ability to respond in a public health crisis.

Through it all, Gerberding maintained that the changes she initiated at the agency had made it stronger and better able to do its job in a post-9/11 world. During her tenure, she has expressed pride in the agency’s response to outbreaks of SARS and monkeypox, its groundbreaking research into avian influenza and other diseases. In the past year, she increasingly spoke out on topics related to health care reform —- a key topic in the presidential election —- and the importance of preventing disease before it needs treatment.


Yet, for much of her tenure, many CDC employees lacked confidence in her vision for the agency. Just 48 percent of CDC staff said they had a high level of respect for the agency’s senior leaders, according to results released last year of a federal survey of government employees.

Last year, congressional investigators concluded the CDC failed “in almost every respect” to protect Hurricane Katrina’s victims from dangerous formaldehyde fumes in government-provided trailers. And Gerberding was accused of playing politics by refusing to reappoint the director of the agency’s worker safety division —- a man widely respected by business leaders, labor unions and lawmakers.

Gerberding drew fire from Democratic lawmakers in 2007 when she delivered testimony to Congress about the health effects of climate change that had been censored by the White House.

In 2003, Gerberding launched a massive reorganization of the CDC that many employees say plunged the nation’s 911 system for public health into turmoil and caused an exodus of key scientific staff.

In December 2005, five former CDC directors sent Gerberding a highly unusual joint letter warning that the agency was in trouble in the wake of her reorganization. They were alarmed by the departures of critical staff.

Dr. Jeffrey Koplan, who preceded Gerberding as CDC director and was one of the authors of the letter, served on the Obama transition team for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. HHS is the parent agency of the CDC.


Filed under 2008 election, Barack Obama, CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Chimpy, FEMA, George W. Bush, Global warming, Health and Human Services Department, humor, Julie Gerberding, Katrina, movies, parody, politics, Republicans, snark, Wordpress Political Blogs

19 responses to “Goodbye, Gerber-ding-dong, science calling!

  1. lisahgolden

    I know someone who says there’s been dancing on the desks at the CDC. Yay!

  2. zwoof

    …dancing on the desks ?
    How unsanitary. I mean what if someone had chicken poop on their shoes and one of their co-workers caught Bird Flu?

    Don’t they know it’s untweetable?

  3. 😆 my first thought was the same as yours, zwoofie, when i read lisa’s comment. however, i then remembered that, when there are medical researchers on tv or in the movies, they are often in those coveralls and paper caps and booties. i felt better thinking of them dancing on the desks with the paper booties, but then i thought that the paper booties probably don’t have a lot of traction, and they might fall off the desks. hope there is not an epidemic of bruised tushies in the atlanta area.

  4. jlms qkw - jenn

    yipee! and the good news continues to roll in! w00t!

    thanks bunches for illustrating it, nonnie dear!

  5. jenn,
    this is gonna be fun! the bad guys are moving out, and we get to make fun of all of them! 😀

  6. nightowl724

    That warm breeze on your cheek is the collective sigh of relief from the millions of reality-based thinkers in America! However, that stink that floated in with it is from the GOP collectively $hitting its pants!

    nonnie, has anyone ever told you that you make funny posters? 😀

  7. i look forward to all of chimpy’s horrible policies being dismantled one by one. i just hope that chimpy is completely trashed in the press as each one’s damage is made clear. i want it to get so bad for him that even his rich friends spit on him as he walks past.

  8. nightowl724

    How gauche!

    Just like rich people do NOT sweat, they perspire, they do NOT spit, either. Instead, they spritz! 😉

    My wish? May Bush suffer a blitz of spritz for the rest of his (un)natural life… 🙂

  9. so sorry. i forgot. 😦 they don’t even spritz, they expectorate. you know, like in arlen ex-specter-ate.

  10. Another one bites the dust!

  11. nightowl724

    Good one, nonnie! We all know that Specter is in a class of his own!

  12. writechicpress

    8 more days! I’m excited for science and the infrastructure!

  13. karen,
    and in another irony, the dust she bites holds cooties that are a direct result of global warming, making julie sick, but she can’t say so, because she can’t admit that she lied about the effects of global warming.

  14. nightowl,
    arlen needs to retire. really.

  15. wcp,
    i can’t believe the end of an error is almost here. i love how, whenever chimpy does something now, it is reported as his last. today, it was his last press conference. how many does that make over 8 years? 4? 5? 😉

  16. As a scientist, I say good riddance to Gerberding!

    As for Spector, he might retire if it looks like the wingnuts will primary him out of his seat.

  17. neon vincent,
    i think the only way arlen will be if his health gets really bad. if he does retire, i hope pennsylvanians will be smart enough to pick someone who is nothing like santorum. what the hell were they thinking when they elected him?

    good riddance, indeed, to gerberding. she pisses me off even more than a lot of his other puke-inducing appointments, because she’s supposed to be a scientist and an educator, and she gave the middle finger to the facts. they should make her give back her degrees.

  18. Yes, and she’s found a more suitable home. President of Merck. I’m continually amazed…

    • hello crystal,

      welcome to the raisin! 😀

      why does it always seem like the most evil among us are the ones who always land on their feet? she did so much harm to so many children, and she gets rewarded with a plush job that pays her lots of money.

      i visited your blog, and it’s very enjoyable reading. hayden is adorable. i hope he has a wonderful holiday.