May 24, 2007 Bush nominates James Holsinger as the next Surgeon General. Holsinger believes that homosexuality is a lifestyle not an orientation and that it is incompatible with Christian teaching. The Surgeon General is described as the nation’s top health educator.
On July 10, 2007, Richard Carmona Surgeon General from 2002 to 2006 testified that he had been muzzled by Bush political appointees and prevented from discussing stem cell research, emergency contraception, prison healthcare, mental health issues, and the effectiveness of abstinence only programs. He related that a report on the health effects of secondhand tobacco smoke was delayed for years and its conclusions weakened.
A 2006 report on poverty and world health has still not been released as of July 2007 because of the efforts of William R. Steiger the 37 year old head of the Office of Global Health Affairs at Health and Human Services and godson of the elder Bush. Steiger has held the post since 2001 although he has no background in health or medical issues. Steiger criticized inaccuracies and lack of analysis in the report which was pre-read and well received by healthcare professionals. In fact, Steiger’s real gripe was that the report did not promote Bush health policies. This is not the first time that Steiger has engaged in such behavior. In 2004, at the behest of food manufacturers and sugar producers, he sought changes in a health report on obesity.