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Article: XMRV at the Fed: Conspiracy or Confusion?

Discussion in 'Phoenix Rising Articles' started by Phoenix Rising Team, Jul 10, 2010.

  1. SOC

    SOC Moderator and Senior Member

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    Reeves put the CDC in a very bad spot PR-wise by announcing publicly (NY Times? February?) that he didn't expect the CDC to find XMRV in CFS patients. Announcing the probable conclusion of future research is bad science that makes the CDC look incompetent. The media didn't care much at the time, but if he were head of CFS research at the CDC when XMRV in ME/CFS becomes clear (next month), the quote would be remembered and the CDC would lose all credibility with the public on XMRV.

    The way it is now, he's cemented his position as far as the media and the public are concerned, as a researcher of people with the symptom chronic fatigue. An entirely different group of people with credible-sounding backgrounds are the CDC's go-to people for XMRV. And gosh, they were right on top of it as soon as the Science paper came out. :rolleyes:

    I think the CDC higher-ups started to see this coming when the Science paper came out and started scrambling for a CYA position. Reeves screwed up royally with his comment to the NYT, so they had to move him ASAP.

    I wonder how many lower-level scientists Reeves and his bureaucrat buddies sold down the river by getting them involved in research that is going to look bogus later, but was necessary to cover Reeves' and his bosses' rears. For example, how many of the researchers listed on the recent paper had any knowledge of the collection of the sample set. Did they take it for granted that the (former) head of CFS research gave them legitimate samples? We'll probably never know....
     
  2. Sean

    Sean Senior Member

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    If there is any 'conspiracy' in all of this, then I agree that is where it lies, the simple failure to properly investigate the alternative explanations. IOW, not properly testing their psychosomatic theories. Pretty well every study I have seen from that school is just looking for more supporting evidence, not looking for (or even allowing for) any rebutting evidence.

    Is this genuine conspiracy, or just blind obsession with a particular pet theory? In the end we are unlikely to ever know for sure.
     
  3. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Hi markmc20001

    I have said it before so: this is so big it could precipitate another global financial crisis. There is real fear about that, and with reason. That is what happens when you ignore a growing problem for half a century. Sooner or later you get a wakeup call, and the later it is, the nastier the consequences.

    Seven percent is now a modest prediction in my view. High end predictions would be over 10%, with a low of around 4% based on current data.

    Bye
    Alex

     
  4. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Hi Mark,

    I have been using the principle of stupidity for a long time, and never new it had a name: excellent!

    There is a well known psychological phenomenon that everyone is subject to: cognitive dissonance. When we look at something we are sure we know what it should say, that is what we see. Contrary info is ignored - our brains don't see reality, they construct it (there is lots of neurological evidence for this, such as several colours being impossible to detect with our eyes, our brains compute the colours). Everyone experiences it at some point, this is why it pays to put something aside and come back to it with a fresh eye. Scientists can spend decades thinking from one point of view. When they evaluate new facts, its from within that viewpoint. If their viewpoint is badly flawed, and they don't have the genius or methodology to step outside of their viewpoint, they are trapped. This is why so much dogma still exists within science and medicine.

    Bye
    Alex


     
  5. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Logan, Queensland, Australia
    Hi

    A successful businessman frequently is one who accepts risk and is prepared to fail.

    A successful scientist has to be willing to be wrong, and looking for it. This is one difference between the great scientist and the humdrum scientist in my opinion. Being willing to be wrong, and looking for it, counters many of the thought traps that people fall into. I am frequently wrong, but I won't let it paralyze me or keep me moving forward. Being wrong is a learning experience, not a death sentence. I just wish more scientists embraced this view - most of the greats do. In fact, I usually learn much more from being wrong than being right, so being wrong is very profitable in the long run.

    Bye
    Alex


     
  6. muffin

    muffin Senior Member

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    I use the term FEDS when talking about the Federal government. Common usage in Washington. You are correct that the term FED is used for Federal Reserve. Might change title to: XMRC By Federal Health Organizations or something like that.
    Our stuff does get picked up by search engines and Google alerts. I see the alerts from this site everyday with the keywords I used. I expect that the fools at the CDC also use an alert system as well to monitor all that is said about them (mostly bad, not much good anymore sadly). Ditto for other Federal orgs.
     
  7. biophile

    biophile Places I'd rather be.

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    Even worse, didn't Reeves also claim at the same time that XMRV was "ubiquitous" (despite absolutely no evidence that is true)? So he didn't expect to find a virus that is literally everywhere? Haha! No wonder he still lives in his father's shadow.
     
  8. SOC

    SOC Moderator and Senior Member

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    His father's shadow? What's that story?
     
  9. biophile

    biophile Places I'd rather be.

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    I remember reading something about his father being a more successful scientist/virologist.
     
  10. SOC

    SOC Moderator and Senior Member

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    Hmmmm..... Interesting story. Lends itself to a lot of speculation.... ;)
     
  11. muffin

    muffin Senior Member

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    Brian Mahy was not the head of CDC, he was head of the CDC's DVRD (where CFS was)

    Brian Mahy was not the head of the CDC, he was the head of the CDC's Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases (DVRD, where CFS is housed) . "Jeffrey P. Koplan was the head of the CDC at that time. " HHS press release, July 10, 1998. Mahy was the guy who diverted funds from CFIDS and Reeves blew the whistle on him.
    Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2000 18:05:21 -0500
    Reply-To: [log in to unmask]
    Sender: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia Information Exchange
    <[log in to unmask]>
    From: "Vicki C. Walker (by way of Co-Cure Moderators
    <[log in to unmask]>)" <[log in to unmask]>
    Subject: ACT: Dr. Mahy reassigned,
    other information from Dr. Koplan's testimony
    Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

    From: "Vicki C. Walker" <[log in to unmask]>

    This just in.....

    During today's 2 pm hearing before the House Labor/HHS Appropriations
    Committee, CDC Director Jeffrey Koplan announced that Dr. Brian Mahy, head
    of the CDC's Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases (DVRD, where CFS is
    housed) has been "reassigned." Questions to CDC about the location of Dr.
    Mahy's reassignment were not answered by CDC staffers in the room, citing
    the confidentiality of personnel matters.

    CDC has appointed Dr. James LaDuke acting director of DVRD.

    The hearing was televised live this afternoon on C-SPAN EXTRA and the
    RealAudio file of the hearing is posted on C-SPAN's website at

    http://www.cspan.org/watch/extra.htm

    It may be re-broadcast on C-SPAN Extra and I have asked for information
    about obtaining a transcript of the proceedings.

    Dr. Koplan also announced that CDC has ordered an independent audit of all
    of its programs by a private accounting firm, to evaluate how pervasive the
    practice is at CDC.

    Other CFS-related statements at the hearing included:

    Representative David Obey (WI) told Dr. Koplan about a former staffer who
    became disabled with CFIDS and ultimately committed suicide because of the
    illness.

    Rep. Henry Bonilla (TX) asked whether the diversion of funds was intentional
    or based on stupidity. Dr. Koplan indicated that it wasn't a very
    intelligent decision.

    Rep. Nita Lowey (NY) discussed her long-standing interest in CFIDS and
    stated that she was very concerned about the state of scientific knowledge
    about the illness. Dr. Koplan responded by talking about CDC's Wichita
    prevalence study, which is in press at a major medical journal and shows
    that the prevalence of CFS is far higher than was known in the past. This
    data gives CDC the ability to follow patients for a longer period of time
    and learn more about the illness. He said they have hired a
    neuroendocrinologist for the CFS program and will be involving the "best and
    the brightest" from across CDC in CFS research.

    ---------------------------------------------------------
    The CFIDS Association of America
    Advocacy, Information, Research and Encouragement for the CFIDS Community
     
  12. muffin

    muffin Senior Member

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    Nothing has changed since 1998...See above comments by Congress people.
     
  13. biophile

    biophile Places I'd rather be.

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    Looking at the calibre of the scientists and journals involved on both sides, I think the odds are in favour of XMRV.

    The more I learn about the CDC the less faith I have in their ability to do anything relating to CFS, the CDC have already proven themselves incompetent and corrupt when it comes to CFS, they have been part of the problem for 25 years, and this wouldn't suddenly change even if they just happen to be right about XMRV. Cort has a point about the CDC thinking they are right, and Mark has a point about what appears to be "malice" may just be stupidity. They are just enforcing their ideologies which they believe correct, protecting their interests in ways which are questionable but perhaps not qualified as a major conspiracy in the usual sense, and covering themselves just in case they are wrong. Common human behaviour really.
     
  14. muffin

    muffin Senior Member

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    Reeves as the Whistle Blower on Mahy CFS Diversion of Funds- CDC can't do accounting

    Have to wonder how much and how far that Whistle Blower status/protection goes with Reeves. He may be immune to getting fired from the CDC now because of that Whistle Blower protection. May be why they just moved him and not fired him.

    Also, CDC has had other fund diversions (Hanta Virus) and inability to do basic accounting due to lack of paper trails. CFS isn't the only program that had money diverted from it.

    I think it is time again to scrub the CDC's budget and make some heavy cuts - like cut HALF their budget and get rid of deadwood.
    ===================================================

    Date: Wed, 2 Feb 2000 19:06:43 -0500 Reply-To: [log in to unmask] Sender: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia Information Exchange <[log in to unmask]> From: Fred Springfield <[log in to unmask]> Subject: ACT: CDC Misled Congress on Spending, Records Show Content-Type: text/plain
    CDC Misled Congress on Spending, Records Show
    By Joe Stephens and Valerie Strauss Washington Post Staff Writers Wednesday, February 2, 2000 ;

    A1 Seven years ago a long-distance runner from New Mexico caught cold, struggled for breath as liquid flooded her lungs, then suddenly died. Her fiance died five days later, followed by more than two dozen other residents of the American Southwest. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified the killer as a previously unknown strain of hantavirus, a mouse-borne disease with a staggering mortality rate. An alarmed Congress responded by giving the CDC up to $7.5 million a year to fight it. At least, Congress thought it did. Instead, apparently without asking Congress, the CDC spent much of the money on other programs that the agency thought needed the funds more, interviews and documents show. One official said the total diverted is almost impossible to trace because of CDC bookkeeping practices, but he estimated the diversions involved several million dollars. Regardless of the amount, the CDC's spending practices have troubled officials within the agency and on Capitol Hill. Agencies are supposed to give Congress accurate reports about the spending of taxpayer dollars. But in the past year, disclosures about secret diversions of CDC funds have incensed some members of Congress and fueled debate over who knows best how to spend federal funds--the lawmakers who hand out the cash or the bureaucrats who run the government day-to-day. In the case of hantavirus, records show that once Congress voiced its willingness to fund CDC research, the agency reported year after year that it had spent up to $7.5 million annually battling the deadly germ. "If they said $7.5 million was spent on hantavirus, then they should have spent $7.5 million on hantavirus," said Mike Myers, who until 16 months ago managed CDC accounts for the House Appropriations Committee. "I would have been outraged." Keith Newbold of Colorado, whose 38-year-old wife, Cheri, died from hantavirus two years ago, said the CDC's decision to redirect research funds "surprises me and disturbs me." He said victims and their families had waited anxiously for new research into the disease but "we were led to believe the money wasn't there." Senior CDC officials declined to comment on the hantavirus spending. But the agency acknowledged in an unsigned statement that it had spent an undisclosed amount on other diseases. It said the decision was made under "the budgetary discretion given the director." The hantavirus diversion is strikingly similar to the CDC's controversial decision to redirect money intended for research into chronic fatigue syndrome--a matter that last year led to calls for a criminal investigation. It also bolsters the accounts of CDC scientists who have complained of loose bookkeeping at the $2.4 billion agency, which works to prevent and control diseases. An inspector general's audit last year found that the CDC could not account for or defied congressional intent while spending $12.9 million appropriated to study chronic fatigue syndrome, a debilitating illness characterized by a lack of stamina. While there was no suggestion that the money was stolen or used illegally, Sen. Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) in November asked the Justice Department to investigate whether the agency had violated laws against lying to Congress. In the aftermath, the CDC promised to restore lost funds and apologized for "a breach of CDC's solemn trust." Director Jeffrey P. Koplan said at the time that it was an isolated incident and that he knew of no other diversions. Yet documents show that 16 months ago, the head of the hantavirus program told an auditor that he was worried because no one outside the Atlanta-based agency knew of his program's spending practices. He said other CDC managers were scared as well. "Funds were used consistently to cover other things," explained William C. Reeves, head of chronic fatigue syndrome research. "That is not a bad way to do things. But you do not lie and hide it." Reeves exposed the manipulation of chronic fatigue money in 1998, saying he refused to participate in a coverup. He charged that his superiors did not consider the disease a serious health threat but were unwilling to air the issue in Congress, which had been heavily lobbied by patients' groups. Last summer, Koplan promised unprecedented changes. He announced mandatory legal training for all budget managers and placed the viral division--home of the hantavirus and chronic fatigue programs--on budgetary "probation." "We have learned a valuable lesson through this experience," the agency said in a statement at the time. But the vow failed to appease some in Congress. "These bureaucracies get so big, they don't care where Congress wants the money to go," Reid said at the time he requested the criminal probe. "They are kind of above it all; they do what they want to do with the money." As head of the CDC's Special Pathogens Branch, C.J. Peters directs research into hantavirus and other quick-killing germs. The white-bearded scientist works in a "spacesuit" and an isolation lab, which protect him from exotic viruses. His risky research inspired Dustin Hoffman's character in the movie "Outbreak" and won Peters a prominent spot in the book "The Hot Zone." "C.J. Peters could swim through a bureaucracy like a shark," wrote author Richard Preston. But auditor's notes, obtained under the federal Freedom of Information Act, depict Peters not as a predator but as a frustrated and fearful bureaucrat. An auditor prepared the memorandum during the inquiry into chronic fatigue funding. It quotes Peters as saying years of budget problems peaked in 1997 when the CDC slashed a quarter of his funding. Even worse, Peters told the auditor, he was not told of the cuts until more than 10 months into the fiscal year, when most of that year's funding had already been spent. "He was very upset," the auditor wrote. To keep all programs afloat, Peters said in an interview, viral division chief Brian Mahy directed him to use part of the hantavirus money to research Ebola and Lassa fevers, which the agency apparently had been paying for out of discretionary funds. Since then, more than a third of the hantavirus money has gone toward Ebola and other exotic diseases, Peters said. Peters said Mahy promised to revise reports sent to Congress to reflect the diversion. But there is no evidence that ever happened. In its statement last week to The Washington Post, the CDC announced that it has proposed changes in the report language "to more accurately reflect how these resources are being used." Ebola fever has killed people in Africa but has never been diagnosed in a human in the United States. In 1989, it tore through a colony of monkeys at a quarantine facility in Reston.[B] It is one of dozens of maladies targeted by the viral division of the National Center for Infectious Diseases, one of 11 centers that make up the CDC. Mahy, who oversees a budget of more than $40 million, would not discuss uses of the hantavirus money. Mahy's budget officer said he doubted that the branch suffered a 25 percent budget reduction or that news of the cut would have been delivered so late. Peters said he could not comment further. But auditor's records show Peters complained about the cuts to Mahy and to James M. Hughes, director of the Center for Infectious Diseases. Mahy "responded by writing him a nasty note which essentially told him to shut up," the auditor wrote. Hughes told The Post that he was aware of concerns about redirection of the hantavirus money but had not determined whether they were valid. There is no evidence that word of the funding issues reached Congress, where annual budget reports continued to cite concern about the hantavirus outbreak.[/B] "The [Appropriations] committee encourages CDC to continue to prioritize the prevention and containment of the hantavirus," a 1999 report said. The CDC supplied Congress with reports showing that the agency's "actual" hantavirus expenses increased 11.7 percent to $7.5 million in fiscal 1997--the same year that Peters said his branch suffered deep cuts. The CDC reported that it spent $7.39 million on hantavirus in fiscal 1998. But Peters told the auditor that after administrators subtracted hefty overhead charges, his branch appeared to be losing roughly one-fifth of the $5 million a year he expected to cover all his research programs. Peters said determining a more precise figure was impossible because of fractured accounting. The auditor studied funding for Peters's programs in fiscal 1998 and arrived at an even higher estimate: $1.4 million missing. Wilmon Rushing, who retired about a year ago as associate director for budgeting at the center, agreed that hantavirus money "ideally" should not have been spent elsewhere. But he said that during his six years in the job, the agency sometimes had borrowed from marked money, hoping to repay it later. Auditor's notes quote Peters as saying he felt legally "at risk" because no one outside the CDC knew of the spending practices. The auditor wrote that "other branch chiefs are nervous as well, because they are afraid they will not actually get the money" allocated to run their programs. In interviews and auditor's reports, other researchers confirmed the outlines of Peters's account: budgets that arrive belatedly, money swapped among programs at the fiscal year's end, an inability to track spending on particular programs. The agency budget "is almost unfathomable," said Charles Rupprecht, head of the CDC rabies program. "No one can tell us what our balance is day to day." Auditors who tried to track the chronic fatigue money said that when CDC officials shifted the money, they often left no paper trail. Yet some researchers said the loose system worked well because it allowed scientists to bounce money among programs as needed to fight disease outbreaks or pursue medical discoveries. "It's probably not kosher accounting-wise," William Bellini, head of the CDC measles virus section, said of some of the money juggling. "So much of what always went on I thought was kosher, now I'm finding out wasn't." Researcher Phil Pellett echoed the sentiments of many scientists. He does not condone misleading the public but said it sometimes would be a "bigger crime" to follow Congress's direction rather than spend money where science dictates. Pellett grew furious when an auditor questioned the propriety of funding his herpes virus research with chronic fatigue money. According to the auditor's notes, Pellett demanded, "How can some congressman know better than we what the important public health issues are?" Researcher Alice Crites contributed to this report
     
  15. biophile

    biophile Places I'd rather be.

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    Hehe. You know, Reeves' appearance has for some reason always reminded me of Sigmund Freud!
     
  16. muffin

    muffin Senior Member

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    CDC Scandal - The Economics of CFIDS - That's the True Scandal

    markmc20001 said:
    "I've been trying to keep my mouth shut, but here is my blunt opinion.

    I'm on board with muffin. There is an effort to keep this covered up. The reason is due to economic reasons. What happens when 7% or more people have this sucker?(I think much much more) What happens with health insurance, blood testing, disability insurance, blood transfusions, economic activity, plane travel, global trade, social interaction, the stock market...... the list goes on. They are trying to keep the wheels on the economy as it is (I think XMRV is greatly repsonsible for the current weak economic state as it is) This is one dang ugly cat to keep in the bag!"

    MUFFIN-->>> I think I am going to knock off the biological warfare idea for a while. It IS economics driving the scandal as Markmc2 points out. If we did a real economic analysis of what we cost or would have cost if we had gotten all that we should have for the last 3 decades, the money would be astounding. However, if we looked at what was lost economically because of our disease, that money would be far and away more astounding. Of course we saw that the CDC used very low figures in the number of CFIDS sick and their loss of income. Does not look as bad as it really should and the CDC knew that and used low ball figures on us.

    The CDC and other Fed health orgs knew that HIV killed people off quickly. No problem there as those people were kind enough to die quickly. However, when HIV moved from homosexuals to heterosexuals and then into the blood supply and CHILDREN, that's when things heated up and funding for research really took off for HIV. CFIDS sick, on the other hand, don't die quickly. We linger and then die - but we don't die "directly" from CFIDS. CDC also made it a point NOT to ever include children or young people in any study or survey for fear that when you do introduce the young into any medical research that's when the public gets interested and MAD AS HELL. Children. Sick and dying children will get the attention. CFIDS sick proved to be just too expensive to deal with while dealing with HIV. So they (whoever THEY is) made the decision to kill off CFIDS research and funding and just concentrate on the Retrovirus (HIV/AIDS) that was doing a fast kill and affecting the heterosexual pop. and children.
    I take no cheap shots at HIV/AIDS. My husband and I lost a dear friend to AIDS and it deserved the research money it received. However, what about CFIDS sick people? The CDC ensured we were tagged as lazy, crazy, abused, etc to keep us from getting the funding for research we needed and now here we are, 2010, and someone else (WPI/NIH/FDA) have shown the CDC's hand.

    Very tired so I'm not making sense here but it is about the bigger economic picture with CFIDS as markmc20001 stated.
     
  17. muffin

    muffin Senior Member

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    "Originally Posted by biophile
    I remember reading something about his father being a more successful scientist/virologist."

    Hillary Johnson wrote something on Reeves' father and how Reeves was not able to walk in his father's footsteps. Go to www.oslersweb.com and see how she emasculated Reeves - seems he knew he could not keep up with his daddy...Still trying to compete with daddy even into his 60's. Poor Bill needs a shrink pronto!!!
     
  18. markmc20001

    markmc20001 Guest

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    Well I believe I came down with something around 1985ish. I was about 11 years old or so at the time. I had a stressful event and got in a fight with a real messed up kid. Turns out I was messed up after that. I still functioned, but started smoking pot for a few years to kind of deal with the anxiety and depression (only made things worse). Here we are 25 years later and I finally had to quit working. SO yep, can come on real slow. so slow most people don;t know what hit them. I see it in people all the time.

    I see woman getting breast cancer, men getting prostrate cancer, people getting obese, the austim epidemic, the adhd....I think it could be all the same monster getting us....which might be XMRV along with toxins, stress, and other infections, or some combination. All I know is I am completely dependent on vitamins now and would be completely bebound without them which makes me think it is more than just toxins or something becuase I can't even maintain under my own power.
     
  19. markmc20001

    markmc20001 Guest

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    Heya, we are thinking the same way on that one. I was thinking right as the dow dropped below the 200 moving average if that positive paper was released what would happen.

    However, Obama is an idealist and I think he really wants to do the right thing. Almost to a fault. So I don't think he will bury the info to prevent research from movin foward on this one. I just question how he will let it break. LIke look at the gulf spill, he shouldn;t have stopped all drilling in the gulf(good in principle, but damaging to the economy especially considering the likelyhood of another spill) SO Obama is just taking a good long time, after probably getting an earful from all his advisers and handlers.

    SO he has a real dilemma with this XMRV stuff, if it was totally up to Obama he would figure out a way to allow the knowledge to be used, but maybe without admitting it is XMRV. Maybe they wil blame it on toxins and genetics or something. However, we only see a very small part of really what goes on in the news.... so who knows....

    Alex, your quote is too funny, ignoring the train lights......

    We will all make it, just we are watching some real history in the making....In 5 or ten years, we be going, remember how things were before that XMRV vaccine?
     
  20. muffin

    muffin Senior Member

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    WE must ensure Obama knows about the CDC, XMRV, the scandal over this deadly virus

    MUFFIN-->>>>> I am a HUGE fan of Obama and I do believe that if he were made aware of the seriousness of this situation he would ensure that the health orgs got on top of it pronto. I know this poor man has waaay too much going on right now but I believe he would not let this one go IF he knew the whole story and the full extent of CFIDS and XMRV and the very possible connection of this Virus(es) to cancers, other diseases. And if you make sure that he knows children are involved, well, that would get his attention even faster. Obama loves his girls and does seem to really want to protect/progress our youth. A deadly virus is not the wy to do that for kids.
    I really do love Obama!! Have to send info to him and his wfie (I love her too!)
     

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