March 10th, 2008
10:50 AM ET

Whistleblower feeling the heat

Like any whistleblower, Chris DeRosa is feeling the heat.

He fears that his long career at the CDC will be over and his reputation damaged. But he tells me that he is compelled to take the risk because of his commitment to protecting public health.

If DeRosa's name sounds familiar that's because he is the same government scientist who blew the whistle on dangerous levels if formaldehyde in FEMA trailers.
He's a soft spoken ex-department head at the CDC who seems more comfortable discussing epidemiology than politics. But this time DeRosa believes he is fighting a political agenda that is at odds with his mission of protecting pubic health.

He believes his agency in the CDC is suppressing a report on pollution and disease around the Great Lakes because it could lead to lawsuits against polluters.

But the CDC says DeRosa may have made mistakes in the seven years it took for him to put the report together. The agency says it needs more time to make sure his methods were scientifically sound and the report that was supposed to go public last summer remains under review.

In the meantime, Congress and the scientific community are watching and raising their own questions while DeRosa remains on the hot seat.

Will he be vindicated or will his career as a protector of public health be over?

– David Mattingly, 360° Correspondent

Program note: David's report is part of our "Planet in Peril" series tonight on the second hour of 360° at 11p ET. 

Filed under: David Mattingly • Planet in Peril
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