CNN's Costello: 'Ridiculous' That CDC Afraid to Do Obama Gun Study Idea

On Friday's CNN Newsroom, anchor Carol Costello declared that it is "ridiculous" that the CDC has opposed President Obama's idea to do a study on gun violence because, as relayed by correspondent Michelle Kosinski, the government agency was afraid of being targeted for budget cuts if it did so.

After Kosinki filed a report recalling President Obama's "frustration" at not getting more gun laws passed, she concluded by relating: "I think most interestingly one thing the President tried to do in his last round of executive orders was to allow the CDC to do studies on gun violence. Just studies. But the CDC hasn't wanted to do that out of fears that if they studied gun violence in America that Congress would then try to cut certain funding. So that's the kind of impasse that the President faces. And to say that this would be an uphill battle to try to change things, Carol, it's putting it very, very lightly."

After shaking her head, Costello responded:

Well, it's a sad world when you can't even do a study without fear of repercussion. That's ridiculous. All right, Michelle Kosinski, I know you can't comment. I'm sorry to lay that on you, but I just had to say it.

An amused Kosinki giggled lightly and pretended to zip her mouth.

Below is a complete transcript of the report from the Friday, July 24, CNN Newsroom with Carol Costello from about 9:15 a.m.:

CAROL COSTELLO: President Obama is on his way to Nairobi, Kenya, right now addressing security issues across the region. But once again he's faced with security issues here at home. The President has been briefed on last night's deadly shooting, and in a cruel twist, the tragedy comes just hours after he called a lack of common sense gun laws the, quote, "most frustrating part" of his presidency. Michelle Kosinski is live in Kenya with more for us. Hi, Michelle.

MICHELLE KOSINSKI:  Hi, Carol. Right, you know, Kenyans were kind of upset over the last couple of days with the world talking about potential security concerns of the President traveling here. Well, now people here are marveling that what the President is being briefed on right now is the security concerns of regular people in public places in America. I mean, if you look at over the last couple of years that shootings have happened in malls, theaters, kindergartens, you name it.

It is a problem, and what to do about that problem is the debate right now. President Obama expressed his frustration over trying to do more to prevent these things in an interview with the BBC last night. And interestingly, as you mentioned, this happened only hours before a shooting happened yet again. Listen.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: The one area where I feel that I've been most frustrated and most stymied, it is the fact that the United States of America is the one advanced nation on Earth in which we do not have sufficient common sense gun safety laws, even in the face of repeated mass killings. And if you look at the number of Americans killed since 9/11 by terrorism, it's less than 100. If you look at the number that have been killed by gun violence, it's in the tens of thousands.

KOSINSKI: So in that interview, he also said that he wasn't going to be stopped from trying to do more. So that would have to be in the form of an executive order. How far that would go remains to be seen. The White House hasn't really been giving much in the way of detail on what exactly they want to do on this issue and when it could happen.

When you look at 2013, for example, after the Newtown shooting at the kindergarten in Sandy Hook, the President enacted nearly two dozen executive orders on gun control, but they were fairly weak. I mean, they did things like try to share information among agencies, put some limits on background checks. But a lot of these were stymied by legislation that kind of had them going nowhere. When you look at Congress's attempts to limit the President, it's pretty tough. Most recently, they put in a rider onto an appropriations bill for the Department of Justice that would limit the President's attempts to try to stop certain kinds of ammunition from being sold in certain quantities, things like that.

I think most interestingly one thing the President tried to do in his last round of executive orders was to allow the CDC to do studies on gun violence. Just studies. But the CDC hasn't wanted to do that out of fears that, if they studied gun violence in America, that Congress would then try to cut certain funding. So that's the kind of impasse that the President faces. And to say that this would be an uphill battle to try to change things, Carol, it's putting it very, very lightly.

COSTELLO: Well, it's a sad world when you can't even do a study without fear of repercussion. That's ridiculous. All right, Michelle Kosinski, I know you can't comment. I'm sorry to lay that on you, but I just had to say it. Michelle Kosinski reporting live from Kenya this morning. I appreciate it. 

Congress Crime Guns CNN CNN Newsroom Carol Costello Michelle Kosinski Barack Obama


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