CDC director says they're "poised" to do more gun research if Congress funds it

www.cbsnews.com | 10/30/2018 | Staff
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Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says the CDC is "poised" for additional research on the causes of gun violence if Congress chooses to give it additional funding. According to Redfield, how the CDC prioritizes its spending is largely driven by where "Congress puts the priority to want to fund us."

"We have a program called the National Violent Surveillance System… and so, we currently are recording violent deaths from all causes, including firearms. And so that is, that's ongoing," Redfield said.

Congress - Dickey - Amendment - Health - Funds

In 1996, Congress passed the Dickey Amendment, which prohibits using public health funds to "advocate or promote gun control," but earlier this year, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said he would instruct the CDC to conduct research on the causes of gun violence.

CDC director Robert Redfield says pandemic flu is "very possible"

Kind - Constraints - CDC - Provision - Redfield

Asked what kind of constraints the CDC faces from that provision, Redfield said, "I don't feel we have any restrictions to do research. The issue will be if Congress can give us funding to expand the research that we're currently able to do. … The secretary has also made it clear that we do not have a restriction to do research. Basically, what we need to do is get a funding mechanism for Congress to instruct us to do that research."

Redfield also spoke about what he considers considers the public health crisis of our time: the opioid epidemic. Preliminary CDC data shows the number of deadly drug overdoses nationwide has plateaued for six straight months even though more than 72,000 Americans died last year from drug overdoses. A little over 48,000 of those deaths were from opioids.

Crisis - Home - Redfield

It's a crisis that hits close home for Redfield.

"It's personal to...
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