FOI request for H1N1 documents still pending

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

Eleven months after she filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for documents related to H1N1, CBS News’ Sharyl Attkisson reports that she has finally received a response from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

It states that it has a certain document responsive to my FOI request. The letter says HHS will try really hard to provide the document soon, but that the folks there are very busy so it may take awhile. It says that if I want expedited processing – something I had already applied for a year ago – I should let them know. A phone number was provided in case I had any questions.

Of course the investigative report I was working on is long over, as the bureaucrats must have known it would be by now.

Attkisson says she called the number provided in the letter and left a message several weeks ago and has yet to hear back. Her initial request was prompted by the CDC’s decision to stop testing and tracking H1N1, something her sources told her was hasty and more about influencing the public’s perception of the illness than it was about public health.

Earlier: Freedom of Information: Stalled at CDC and D.C. Government (Oct. 27, 2009)

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