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Atlanta Investigate Journalist Walls Bonks CDC and Hails Reeves Move

Discussion in 'Action Alerts and Advocacy' started by Kati, Feb 5, 2010.

  1. Kati

    Kati Patient in training

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    Atlanta Unfiltered article on Bill Reeves

    http://www.atlantaunfiltered.com/2010/02/05/cdc-reeves/

    CDC reassigns controversial head of chronic fatigue research
    February 5, 2010 --
    By JIM WALLS and KATE BENSON
    The Atlanta-based CDC has reassigned its chief researcher into chronic fatigue syndrome, a longtime target of scientific organizations and patient advocacy groups around the country.
    Researchers in Nevada last fall reported a strong correlation between chronic fatigue syndrome and XMRV, a retrovirus related to the one that causes AIDS. The potential breakthrough has excited the 1 million or so Americans with CFS who are looking for treatment.
    The CDCs research program, led by Dr. William C. Reeves, had no role in that study, and Reeves was dismissive of its findings. Critics said that was because the agency had wasted $100 million on looking for a possible psychological explanation for CFS and dismissing outside research that looked for a viral cause.
    Finally, last fall, a CFS Advisory Committee called on Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sibelius to install progressive leadership to direct CDCs efforts to find a cause and cure for the disease. The panel did not identify Reeves as the obstacle, but minutes show the committee had discussed whether to name him.
    The International Association for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, a 500-member group of medical professionals, has repeatedly challenged CDCs focus and its new five-year plan for CFS research. Its president, psychologist Fred Friedberg, testified in October:
    After 25 years (and over $100 million) of CDC research, chronic fatigue syndrome remains a stigmatized illness without substantive progress on public health policy or objective diagnosis and treatment. And their new five-year, $25 million plan fails to inspire any confidence that change will occur.

    CDC spokesman Tom Skinner said today he had no direct knowledge of the reasons behind Reeves reassignment, other than the agencys belief that his expertise was a good fit for his new role.
    As far as his salary goes, its a lateral move for him, Skinner said.
    Starting Feb. 14, Reeves will be senior advisor for a new mental health surveillance program that will explore how various diseases and conditions affect mental health. Virologist and cancer researcher Dr. Elizabeth R. Unger becomes director of the Chronic Viral Diseases Branch (CVDB), which includes the CFS program, on an interim basis.
    Looking for a permanent director will commence as soon as possible, Skinner said.
    The transfer comes on the heels of the CDCs reassignment last month of Dr. Howard Frumkin, who had run the CDC division that deal with public health problems associated with formaldehyde contamination in trailers provided to victims of Hurricane Katrina. Frumkin became a special assistant to the CDCs director of Climate Change and Public Health.
    CFIDS Association applauded the leadership change in the CDCs research into the disease:
    The CFIDS Association of America, other organizations and advocates have vocally supported new program leadership to effect a more robust research effort at CDC. This staffing change has the potential to significantly advance CFS research beyond the agencys intramural program and to seize scientific momentum generated by recent discoveries.
     
  2. usedtobeperkytina

    usedtobeperkytina Senior Member

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    Good article. Went to CDC to get comment. Wish could have gotten comment from Bill Reeves. Was there an attempt to talk to him about his past decisions.

    Mentions the criticism of patient organizations and what their criticism is. Shows the issue is not just since the XMRV discovery, but decisions for decades.

    With CFSAC politely asking for change, two patient organizations asking for change, it seems clear this was overdue. Doesn't matter if he is right or wrong, he had lost all credibility in that role. He had to go. I like it mentioned the XMRV and his comments. Yet, the article is short of saying he was moved for these reasons. This is a read between the lines kind of article. "I wish we could say X, but we can't get anyone to go on record saying so. So we will lay out all the dots, you will have to connect them."

    My favorite sentence: "The CDC’s research program, led by Dr. William C. Reeves, had no role in that study, and Reeves was dismissive of its findings." Sometimes a direct plain statement can have a lot of impact. Favorite phrase "had no role in that study." LOL.

    Tina
     
  3. usedtobeperkytina

    usedtobeperkytina Senior Member

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    Clay, Alabama
    And by the way, this looks like an "underground newspaper." Which is a little bit more edgy than mainstream. But sometimes other news media "pick up" on stories once an article appears. Those of you who are in Atlanta or know news media that reports on CDC issues, health issues or federal government might want to pass this on to those outlets. Maybe they will do their own story with another angle.

    Tina
     
  4. Lily

    Lily *Believe*

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    I thought the article was well done also. Just this one sentence gave me the willies.......I was hoping/assuming the mental health surveillance program included only mental health diagnoses.:worried::eek:
     
  5. flex

    flex *****

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    "Starting Feb. 14, Reeves will be senior advisor for a new mental health surveillance program that will explore how various diseases and conditions affect mental health."

    Oh dear, sounds like a team up with the DSM V "organic illness plus functional somatic disorder".
     
  6. kurt

    kurt Senior Member

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    Actually that sounds like a good use for his talents, that is the right direction, disease causing mental issues rather than mental issues causing disease, many diseases affect mental health.
     
  7. flex

    flex *****

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    Kurt,

    you could be sleep walking into a second disaster. If they can say you have a mental health diagnosis aswell they will use it against you. What is a mental health diagnosis anyway. If you look at the DSM its anything they want it to mean. They could still use the old CBT and GET to stop insurance and benefit claims. They already try it with people diagnosed with Lymes and even MS. Insurance is insurance they just need any angle provided by the Psych "doctors".


    I think we should all be alert to this regardless of XMRV.
     
  8. Khalyal

    Khalyal Guest

    Flex, I agree

    Couldn't agree with this more. Part of what I said on my blog at http://cfsuntied.com/blog1/2010/02/03/get-crazy-with-the-cheese-whiz/ :

    " Is it really over? Are we done with the Reeves era? What about the so-called Reeves Empirical? Will it be allowed to stand? And what about all of the stress-related, allostatic load, child abuse connections that have become the foundation of the CDC headset regarding CFS? Will years of misdirection be swept under the carpet, or expanded upon and incorporated permanently into the CFS lexicon?

    And will we insist that Reeves be held accountable at some point, even though he has shifted out of the department? Will we still pursue congressional inquiry?"


    Reeves' lateral transfer puts him in a position that still enables him to do us harm, and no longer JUST us. We could end up seeing immune diseases of ALL sorts in the psychological sector.
     
  9. Lily

    Lily *Believe*

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    Thank you, Khaly. Well said.
     
  10. valia

    valia Senior Member

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    I too think the net is widening
     
  11. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    We've finally got - thanks to Kate Benson - a journalist working for us. Jim Walls is an investigative reporter based in Atlanta. This is his second article on the CDC and CFS. Now they're trying to burrow into the CDC, find out why he was released, what kind of changes it means, what the CDC's stance towards Abt and Emory is, and developing contacts within the agency.

    We did a fantastic job commenting on his last piece - it got good google rankings. We need to keep the hits and comments coming. If we do that he should keep after this.

    http://www.atlantaunfiltered.com/2010/02/05/cdc-reeves/
     
  12. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    What a busy day on the Advocacy section. I just wanted to kick this to the top so we can get some more comments and hits on this article. :)
     
  13. Bump!
    Cort this is AWESOME news! Was this as a result of your work?

    Rachel xx
     
  14. Lily

    Lily *Believe*

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    We did a fantastic job commenting on his last piece - it got good google rankings. We need to keep the hits and comments coming. If we do that he should keep after this. http://www.atlantaunfiltered.com/2010/02/05/cdc-reeves/

    We need to get some more comments on there......there's some good ones, but we need MORE
     
  15. Katie

    Katie Guest

    I've posted a comment, we need this kind of reporting!! I'm excited!
     
  16. Adam

    Adam *****

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    read the article. Thnx Cort, it is 1 am here i got to go to bed. Will comment tomorrow. goodnight all and keep up the good work
     
  17. Sing

    Sing Senior Member

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    I responded--kicked the ball farther down the road, hopefully.

    Sing
     
  18. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    Nice! We're on the Front Page; all the recent comments are from us. This was all Kate Benson - a former journalist with CFS - she's been working on this guy for months. This is his second article. Lets keep the hits and comments coming. :)
     
  19. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    We've got 16 comments on there (the next most is 2); he's gotta be hearing us. At the beginning of today there were three I think. This is all the Forums :) [the POWER of the FORUMS:victory::victory:] :;);)
     
  20. Tammie

    Tammie Senior Member

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    I just responded, too....we are up to 18!
     

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