Wow. These words from Reeves' letter from 1992 giving CDC advice to a patient really shocked me (transcribing from the letter image):
"Since the etiology of CFS is unknown and since it may represent a general symptom complex due to a variety of causal factors, there is at present no CDC policy concerning donation of biologic products such as blood by CFS patients. However, since ongoing research indicates an infectious agent may be involved in some cases of CFS it would seem prudent to refrain from donating blood until this issue is resolved. In any event, you should consult your local doctor concerning his or her opinion with respect to effects this may have on your health. You should inform officials at the blood collection center that you have CFS; the blood bank may have specific regulations concerning CFS or similar diseases."
Reeves/CDC is very clearly recommending this patient to refrain from giving blood. Yet, he apparently was not making any recommendations within the CDC or otherwise to send that message out to other "CFS" patients in the form of federal policy or even as a guideline or recommendation to doctors and blood banks. Using his own logic expressed in the letter, CDC (knowing at the very least that "ongoing research indicates that an infectious agent may be involved," knowing that viruses like EBV and CMV were activated in patients) taking such an action would have been the "prudent" thing to do.
Yet he preferred to rely on the chance that local blood banks would refuse blood from patients like Ms. Irvine via general screening criteria for not accepting blood from people who weren't well (similar to the answer that Jerry Holmberg, the blood bank guy who testified at this year's CFS federal advisory committee meeting gave in response to the question, "what's the harm in erring on the safe side?": blood banks usually ask people "are you feeling well today?").
Reeves is recommending this patient to consult her local doctor and blood bank (who likely knew jack about "CFS") to make that critical decision - instead of erring on the side of the safety of public health, he decided to err on the side of not risking the potential public panic that a blood ban (or even something weaker like a specific guideline or a recommendation to blood banks) might provoke.