So is the reduction in meeting time and change to webinar format purely an effect of sequester? Or is funding a convenient reason to make changes that attempt to silence voting members or advocates?
From my perspective, it doesn't matter. We'll never be able to prove a malicious intent to silence advocates. And even if the change is purely a byproduct of sequester that will affect every advisory committee, the bottom line is the same. It will be more difficult for the committee to accomplish its job in the time allotted, and in a way that ensures equal input from the voting, non-voting and ex officio members. There will be less time and less opportunity for us to provide input and make our views known.
So what should we do? We adjust. We find ways to express our views to HHS and the CFSAC members. If we are once again victims of budget priorities, speak louder. If this is an attempt to silence us, speak louder. Does everyone hear me? SPEAK LOUDER. I am not backing out. You shouldn't either.