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The Bush Veto: The Republican War on Science Escalates

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyJuly 20, 2006 12:30 AM


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Art Caplan has an extremely powerful piece denouncing Bush's latest action. And indeed, it's truly unbelievable: Bush misleads us about the extent to which his stem cell policy will support research, never apologizes, and then blocks the expansion of that policy once it has become entirely clear that it did not succeed on the president's own terms--i.e., by supporting adequate research. But let Caplan say it:

With his veto the president has now reaffirmed a policy that never made any sense, garnered no scientific support to speak of, was abandoned by both houses of Congress and the leaders of his own party and, most importantly, got no traction with those most in need of the benefits of the research - patients and their families. The President has now told doctors, researchers and patients to drop dead. Science policy in the Bush administration is best made in the White House, not by scientists and not by Congress.

Meanwhile, further extending the war on science, we learn via the Progress Report that Karl Rove has declared that scientists have found "far more promise from adult stem cells than from embryonic stem cells." If that's really true, then why don't Bush and Rove push for the defunding of the National Institutes of Health, which must be egregiously misleading the nation with its statement that "Human embryonic stem cells are thought to have much greater developmental potential than adult stem cells"?

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