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Report of New CDC Stance on Use of Evidence and Science for 2019 Trump Budget Is Counter to Bipartisan Recommendations

Saturday, December 16, 2017

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Washington, D.C.– The Bipartisan Policy Center finds alarming a Washington Post report that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is planning to alter the agency’s approach for communicating about evidence-based and science-based practices by no longer referencing evidence-based or science-based practices in budgetary documents.

“Discouraging a taxpayer-funded federal agency from using science and evidence is contrary to common sense and a violation of public trust. I hope that the White House Office of Management and Budget quickly clarifies that this is not official administration policy,” Jason Grumet, BPC president, said.

The bipartisan Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking in its final report concluded unanimously that rigorous evidence is needed to inform effective public policy across all of government. BPC is continuing the work of encouraging implementation of the commission’s recommendations. In a world in which views about many issues are divided, the importance of sound evidence to inform policy has broad agreement. The reported approach at CDC would be very much at odds with the evidence-based and science-based practices highlighted in the commission’s bipartisan recommendations and championed by advocates across the political spectrum.

“The use of evidence and science to inform public policies is essential to ensuring an effective government that the American public can trust,” Nick Hart, director of BPC’s Evidence-Based Policymaking Initiative, said. “CDC has a long track record as a leader in the federal government for securely analyzing data using strong confidentiality protections, including at the National Center for Health Statistics, and using that information in decision-making to guide critical public health policies that make us healthier and save lives.”

“In many ways the CDC is a model for deploying evidence-based and science-based practices in our country,” Anand Parekh, chief medical advisor at BPC, said. “A movement away from evidence-based and science-based policymaking at CDC could contribute to untold risks for the American public in ensuring sufficient health protections are in place.”

KEYWORDS: OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET, JASON GRUMET, CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION, ANAND PAREKH, COMMISSION ON EVIDENCE-BASED POLICYMAKING, NICK HART, EVIDENCE-BASED POLICYMAKING INITIATIVE