Of Zombies and the CDC

21 May

A Guest Post From DES Daughter/Historian Andrea Goldstein.

After finding out that Caitlin McCarthy’s CDC Zombie post

Frustrated with the CDC

was not a joke and checking it out for myself, I decided to call the CDC and ask about the now infamous, outdated DES binders.  I spent over an hour and a half on the phone.  I started with the CDC’s info line, where the person who answered the phone did not know what DES is. Of course I told her, asked her about accessing a lot of information, which she couldn’t do, and I lodged a complaint about the binders, and because I had already looked at the site, found out there were podcasts, found none on DES but many in Spanish, I lodged a complaint about that.

The woman who took my complaint doesn’t work for the CDC; their info line is subcontracted, if I understood what she was saying correctly.  Anyway, I told her I needed to find real people *at* the CDC, and she started me off with one phone number.  I got a lovely young woman named Nieyachia who had never heard of DES and for whom I had to spell, twice, Diethylstilbestrol.  She was from the office of the “Branch Director” of the CDC; another non-essential job for which we are all paying.  Not being able to help, me, and with my frustration escalating, I asked for the phone number of the Director of the CDC, one Dr. Thomas Frieden.  BTW, I guess I didn’t bother to get the name of the woman who answered the phone who had never heard of DES.  The doctor was not in, of course.  It was Friday afternoon after 4 pm and why on earth would I, or he, think he should be working???

I did get another person to call, however, Carmen Villar, the Chief of Staff at the CDC.  In an emergency she can stay home, too.  In fact, she can stay home and collect unemployment, as no one there had heard of DES and she was at a “meeting” – probably with her personal shopper, till 5 pm.  She would not be able to call me back, no doubt because Happy Hour was next on her schedule.  However, I did get another number from Kathy, the person who answered the phone there.  She gave me the number of Yvonne Green, the Director of Women’s Health at the CDC.  I nearly fainted when her secretary said she knew what DES was.  Supposedly someone from Ms. Green’s office will call me on Monday.  I have the phone numbers just in case my phone doesn’t start ringing.

BTW, no one knew anything about DES research, but I suspect that information is floating around the NIH; I’m not calling them.

However, in the interest of wanting these morons having their feet held to the fire, I am giving you a list of phone numbers in case you have nothing to do and want to:

a.    Have some fun

b.    Realize it’s time to take a cyanide pill

  • 404-639-3311
  • 404-639-7000 (Dr. Frieden)
  • 404-498-2366 (Yvonne Green)
  • 404-498-2300 (second Green number)
  • 1-800-994-9662

If you call, please give me a full report in the Comments section below. Don’t forget to spell Diethylstilbestrol slowly for them and be prepared to tell them what it is.


One Response to “Of Zombies and the CDC”

  1. jennifer May 21, 2011 at 1:44 pm #

    On the CDC’s own DES website, there is the following contact information:

    CDC’s DES Update
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    1600 Clifton Road NE, MS E-29
    Atlanta, GA 30333
    Phone: (toll-free) 1-800-232-4636
    E-mail: cdcinfo@cdc.gov

    I wonder what happens if you try and use this contact info? Did you try that too, Andrea, and it just led to a dead end?

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