Finally, Benjamin remarked that her job as U.S. Surgeon General is to provide trustworthy information that is based on the best available science and to clearly communicate how the disaster is going to affect both short- and long-term health. However, the current scientific literature is inconclusive with regard to the potential hazards resulting from the oil spill, with some scientists predicting little to no toxic effect and others expressing serious concerns about the potential short- and long-term effects on responders’ and residents’ health. She ended with a quote from President Barack Obama: “Science is more essential for our prosperity, our security, our health, our environment, and our quality of life than it has ever been before.”



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