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CarmenS.

Villar,MSW
ChiefofStaff
OfficeoftheDirector
MSD14
CentersforDiseaseControlandPrevention(CDC)
1600CliftonRoad
Atlanta,Georgia303294027

August29,2016

DearMs.Villar:

WeareagroupofscientistsatCDCthatareveryconcernedaboutthecurrentstateofethicsat
ouragency.Itappearsthatourmissionisbeinginfluencedandshapedbyoutsidepartiesand
rogueinterests.ItseemsthatourmissionandCongressionalintentforouragencyisbeing
circumventedbysomeofourleaders.Whatconcernsusmost,isthatitisbecomingthenorm
andnottherareexception.SomeseniormanagementofficialsatCDCareclearlyawareand
evencondonethesebehaviors.Othersseeitandturntheotherway.Somestaffare
intimidatedandpressedtodothingstheyknowarenotright.Wehaverepresentativesfrom
acrosstheagencythatwitnessthisunacceptablebehavior.Itoccursatalllevelsandinallof
ourrespectiveunits.Thesequestionableandunethicalpracticesthreatentoundermineour
credibilityandreputationasatrustedleaderinpublichealth.Wewouldliketoseehighethical
standardsandthoughtful,responsiblemanagementrestoredatCDC.Weareaskingthatyou
doyourparttohelpcleanupthishouse!

ItispuzzlingtoreadabouttransgressionsinnationalmediaoutletslikeUSAToday,The
HuffingtonPostandTheHill.ItisequallypuzzlingthatnothinghaschangedhereatCDCasa
result.Itsbusinessasusual.Thelitanyofissuesdetailedoverthesummerareofparticular
concern:

Recently,theNationalCenterforChronicDiseasePreventionandHealthPromotion
(NCCDPHP)hasbeenimplicatedinacoverupofinaccuratescreeningdatafortheWise
Woman(WW)Program.TherewasacoordinatedeffortbythatCentertoburythefactthat
screeningnumbersfortheWWprogramweremisrepresentedindocumentssenttoCongress
screeningnumbersfor2014and2015didnotmeetexpectationsdespiteamultimilliondollar
investmentanddefinitionswerechangedanddatacookedtomaketheresultslookbetter
thantheywere.Datawereclearlymanipulatedinirregularways.Aninternalreviewthat
involvedstaffacrossCDCoccurredanditsfindingswereessentiallysuppressedsomedia
and/orCongressionalstaffwouldnotbecomeawareoftheproblems.Nowthatboththemedia
andCongresswomanDeLauroareawareoftheseissues,CDCstaffhavegoneoutoftheirway
todelayFOIAsandobstructanyinquiry.ShouldntNCCDPHPcomecleanandstopplaying
games?Wouldtheethicalthingbetoanswerthequestionsfullyandhonestly.Thepublic
shouldknowthetrueresultsofwhattheypaidfor,shouldntthey?
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AnothertroublingissueattheNCCDPHParetheadventuresofDrs.BarbaraBowmanand
MichaelPratt(alsodetailedinnationalmediaoutlets).Bothseemedtohaveirregular(ifnot
questionable)relationshipswithCocaColaandILSIrepresentatives.Neitherofthese
relationshipswerenecessary(orappropriate)toupholdourmission.Neitherorganization
addedanyvaluetothegoodworkandsciencealreadyunderwayatCDC.Infact,theseties
havenowcalledintoquestionandunderminedCDCswork.Acloudhasbeencastoverthe
ethicalandexcellentworkofscientistsduetothiswantonbehavior.Wascultivatingthese
relationshipsworthdraggingCDCthroughthemud?DidDrs.BowmanandPratthave
permissiontopursuetheserelationshipsfromtheirsupervisorDr.UrsulaBauer?Didtheyseek
andreceiveapprovaloftheseoutsideactivities?CDChasaprocessbywhichsuchthings
shouldbevettedandreportedinanethicsreview,trackingandapprovalsystem(EPATS).
Furthermore,didtheydisclosetheseconflictsofinterestontheiryearlyOGE450filing.Isthere
anapprovedHHS520,HHS521orRequestforOfficialDutyActivitiesInvolvinganOutside
OrganizationapprovedbyDr.BauerorherDeputyDirectorMs.DanaShelton?AnAugust28,
2016iteminTheHilldetailstheseissuesandothersrelatedtoDr.Pratt.

ItappearstousthatsomethingverystrangeisgoingonwithDr.Pratt.Heisanactiveduty
CommissionedCorpsOfficerintheUSPHS,yethewasassignedtoEmoryUniversityfora
quitesometime.Howandunderwhatauthoritywasthisdone?DidEmoryUniversitypayhis
salaryunderthetermsofanIPA?Didheseekandreceiveanoutsideactivityapprovalthrough
EPATSandworkatEmoryonAnnualLeave?Formalsupervisorendorsementandapproval
(fromDr.BauerorMs.Shelton)isrequiredwhetherdoneasanofficialdutyoroutsideactivity.
Ifdeemedofficial,didhefileaRequestforOfficialDutyActivitiesInvolvinganOutside
OrganizationinEPATS?ApparentlyDr.PrattspositionatEmoryUniversityhasendedandhe
hasacceptedanotherpositionattheUniversityofCaliforniaSanDiego?Again,howisthis
possiblewhileheisstillanactivedutyUSPHSOfficer.Didheretireandleavegovernment
service?IsUCSDpayingforhistimeviaanIPA?Doeshehaveanoutsideactivityapprovalto
dothis?Willthisbedoneduringdutyhours?ItisrumoredthatDr.Prattwilloccupythis
positionwhileonAnnualLeave?Really?WillDr.PrattbespendingtimeinAtlantawhennoton
AnnualLeave?WillhemakeanappearanceatNCCDPHP(wherehehasntbeenseenfor
months).MoststaffdonotenjoysuchuniquepositionssupportedandapprovedbyaCenter
Director(Dr.Bauer).Dr.Pratthasscoredasweetdeal(notavailabletomostotherscientistsat
CDC).ConcernsaboutthesetwopositionsandotherswererecentlydescribedinThe
HuffingtonPostandTheHill.Hisbehaviorandthatofmanagementsurroundingthisisvery
troubling.

Finally,mostofthescientistsatCDCoperatewiththeutmostintegrityandethics.However,this
climateofdisregardputsmanyofusindifficultpositions.Weareoftendirectedtodothings
weknowarenotright.Forexample,Congresshasmadeitveryclearthatdomesticfundingfor
NCCDPHP(andotherCIOs)shouldbeusedfordomesticworkandthatthebulkofNCCDPHP
fundingshouldbeallocatedtoprogram(notresearch).Ifthisisthecase,whythenis
NCCDPHPtakingdomesticstaffresourcesawayfromdomesticprioritiestoworkonglobal
healthissues?WhyinFY17isNCCDPHPdivertingmoneyawayfromprogramprioritiesthat
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directlybenefitthepublictosupportanexpensiveresearchFOAthatmaynotyieldanythingthat
benefitsthepublic?Theseactionsdonotservethepublicwell.Whyisnothingbeingdoneto
addresstheseproblems?WhyhastheCDCODturnedablindeyetothesethings.Thelackof
respectforscienceandscientiststhatsupportCDCslegacyisastonishing.

Pleasedotherightthing.Pleasebeanagentofchange.

Respectfully,

CDCSpider
(CDCScientistsPreservingIntegrity,DiligenceandEthicsinResearch)

Cc:
CDCEthicsOffice