For Immediate Release
Matt Jacob // 202.408.5565
CDC Responds to CREW's Records Request
WASHINGTON - Yesterday CREW received a response from the Centers for Control and
Prevention (CDC) denying CREW’s request for expedition of its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking all records related to the agency’s policies, protocols, and practices for distributing the H1N1 vaccine. CREW
filed its FOIA request on November 6, 2009, following press reports
that private, non-health related entities, including top Wall Street
firms, had received quantities of the vaccine for their employees at a
time when the public at large is facing critical and vast shortages of
the vaccine. The CDC agreed with CREW that in light of the public
health emergency the H1N1 flu presents, the public has a compelling
need for the information CREW has requested. But the agency
nevertheless denied expedition based on its remarkable claim that
through the CDC website the public has been fully informed about the
distribution of the vaccine. Once again the CDC has chosen to ignore
the public’s legitimate and ongoing concerns, adopting the
paternalistic view that it knows best what information the public needs.
CREW also sent a second FOIA request to the Secretary of Health and
Human Services on November 6, and received the perplexing response that
any and all records would be found at the CDC, and not agency
headquarters. Just last week Nicole Lurie, Assistant Secretary for
Preparedness and Response at HHS, testified before a congressional
subcommittee on HHS’s role in responding to the H1N1 outbreak. Her
testimony alone demonstrates the inadequacy of HHS’s response to CREW’s
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Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting ethics and accountability in government and public life by targeting government officials -- regardless of party affiliation -- who sacrifice the common good to special interests. CREW advances its mission using a combination of research, litigation and media outreach.