CBC Responds to U.S. Health and Human Services Apology for Secret 1940s STD Study

Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.)

The Congressional Black Caucus has responded to the U.S. Health and Human Services apology for a 1940s STD study in which Guatemalan prisoners, service members and mental-health patients were infected with gonorrhea and syphilis without their consent. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius released in English and Spanish the U.S. government's apology to those who participated from 1946 to 1948. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the CBC, and U.S. Virgin Islands Delegate Donna Christensen, co-chair of the Health and Wellness Taskforce, reacted to the news, issuing the following statement:

"This revelation is a stark reminder of the 'dark days' of medicine when many then revered physician-scientists thought nothing of using African Americans and foreigners for experimentation with devastating consequences to those victims. Even today, the memories of Tuskegee Syphilis Study are reinforced by the discrimination many people of color continue to experience, fueling mistrust of the healthcare system among those who need it most. While this new revelation is a painful reminder of how poorly served and intentionally harmed so many vulnerable individuals were at the hands of federally-funded research projects, we applaud Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius for taking the very bold and very honest step to expose this, and to send the very clear message that such practices will never happen again.”


Read more about the study at CBS News.com.

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