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CDC climate change conference canceled; has Trump created hostile climate?

24 January 2017
CDC climate change conference canceled; has Trump created hostile climate?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was supposed to hold a big summit on climate change next month in Atlanta, but the CDC suddenly and silently canceled the event without much in the way of explanation or fanfare on Monday.

One of the partnering groups set to participate in the summit, the American Public Health Association (APHA), confirmed to International Business Times that the event was canceled.

"We are now exploring options so that the Summit may take place later in the year", it reads, as quoted by Climate Wire. We also emailed and called the CDC to ask for the cancelation's reason and will update if we receive an answer.

According to the Post, CDC officials on January 9 sent a brief notice to scheduled speakers that didn't detail the reasons for the cancelation of the event, called the "Climate and Health Summit". Other partners on the event included: Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists, and the National Association of County and City Health Officials.

Mr Trump has previously called climate change a hoax and his White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus has said the president believes global warming a "bunch of bunk".

"I think it was a strategic decision by the CDC", Benjamin said, noting the recent change in administration has left the CDC and related agencies without leadership in place to either continue already scheduled events like the summit or initiate a new agenda.

"Sometimes the agency is subject to external political pressure", said ex-CDC director Howard Frumkin, who also said he did not bother buying a plane ticket to the meeting once Mr Trump was elected, speaking to E&E News. The summit's cancelation could signal that the agency is not willing to take aggressive action on climate change issues.

The cancellation came as little surprise to former CDC directors, who told E&E News the government health agency has a history of shying away from contentious political issues.