For those in the USA - the USA HHS invites comments on its strategic plan for Lyme disease - have your say


Senior Member
The US Department of Health and Human Services invites comments and suggestions on the National Strategy for the Prevention and Control of Vector-Borne Diseases.
The plan represents the federal government’s priorities for addressing vector-borne disease threats, such as mosquitos, ticks and fleas. It lists five goals and 19 strategic priorities.
The deadline to receive emailed comments is midnight Eastern Time on December 21.

link to the article about it on here

i would be happy to comment - but i am not in the USA and i don't think they accept comments from abroad

what the USA does trickles down to the rest of the world though - so if you would like to comment - or would like any help with commenting please reach out to me


Senior Member
i have now read the document:

After all the time, work, expert presentations, public comments etc that has gone into this effort so far, I find what has been presented as “strategic objectives” very disappointing indeed.

Allow me to explain:

Typically, a strategic objective needs to be something specific and measurable and time bound. It should be aspirational - a challenge that will galvanise people into action.

When JFK stood before Congress on May 25, 1961, and proposed that the US
"should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth."

That was a strategic goal. It is very specific, it has end points that are measurable, and it has a time limit.

By contrast what we see in the Department of Health and Human Services document is typically vague bureaucratic speak without measurable endpoints.

For example: Strategic Priority 4: Develop, maintain, and distribute non-commercial diagnostic resources to facilitate VBD testing.”

What does that even mean?

Where is the “finish line” so it will be clear when the goal is achieved?

By when will this be achieved?

I assume this is supposed to represent the need for effective testing for tick born diseases.

Should the strategic goal not therefore be along the lines of:

“Develop diagnostic tests with better than 99% specificity and sensitivity for the 10 most common vector borne diseases in the USA - and make them available to public health services at scale in all states within 5 years.”

In my view all of the goals in that document are similarly vague and need to be rewritten, as they are they are not specific enough, not measurable and not time bound enough to be effective.

Honestly, any manager at even mid-level in the commercial world would expect to have wishy washy goal statements such as those given back to them for rewriting with gruff feedback.

Next is the topic of responsibility and incentives.

Who has responsibility for achieving these goals and what happens if they do / or do not get achieved?

If the answer is essentially nothing, everyone still gets to keep their jobs and keep taking their salary and there will just be a few more committee meetings

Then, even if all of the goals were re-written properly, I would say you have a recipe for very little to change in the next 5 years.

The public elect the people who make policy and are accountable for its execution, and it pays them equivalate wages to the commercial sector to do that work. It’s not a free meal ticket.
So why do we tolerate a total lack of measurability and accountability from these people?

Lyme disease is a serious issue. People are dying from Lyme every day. Many hundreds of thousands live in ongoing pain and suffering and financial hardship, due to the lack of action on effective tests and effective treatments.

Goals MUST be measurable and Individuals MUST be made accountable.
- or it’s a waste of time and money, only serving the politicians who can say “look, we are doing something over here” and hope few will look deeper to see how little is really getting done.

as i say - i doubt the USA HSS will take comments from outside the US - but if this weak proposal goes through - nothing will change and doctors and policy makers around the world will point to what the USA is doing and use it as an excuse for lack of change everywhere.

if you are in the USA and would like to make a comment - please feel free to use my text above in part or in full - and / or please do reach out for my help to make a comment.

They state all comments will be published - so if 10 or 20 of them all carried this same message you would hope it would have a chance of getting noticed by someone who supports real change.

link to place a comment is available via the site in the first post.

Rufous McKinney

Senior Member
a strategic objective needs to be something specific and measurable and time bound.

Your Correct. I did Government Work. We wrote strategic plans including goals and measurable objectives as you describe.

Then you have tasks.

Rufous McKinney

Senior Member
so if you would like to comment - or would like any help with commenting please reach out to me

I'll try to at least submit a comment about the need for measurable objectives etc.

Let me know if you see any major other topic that I might be able to carry water for you and others with Lyme

(which I think I do not have; yet ticks were my friends for many years)

Rufous McKinney

Senior Member
everyone still gets to keep their jobs and keep taking their salary and there will just be a few more committee meetings

that seems to be the huge problem with social medicine and the Clinics.

If GET and CBT in fact aren't primary treatments for these problems, but thats who gets paid to deliver services, then we will never receive proper services.


Senior Member
in keeping with the theme of bureaucratic ineffectiveness

clicking on the link on the Federal government document register that says "SUBMIT A COMMENT HERE"

produces a message that says:

Submitting a formal comment directly via is not available for this document at this time. However, you can click the button below to view more information on alternate methods of comment submission.
View Additional Information "

and that link basically says you have to do a search to find the document via keywords

its almost like they do not really want any comments and are deliberately putting obstacles in the way
but my guess is its just typical low levels of performance

anyway - here is a direct ink to the page where you can comment directly

the page then reported errors when i tried to enter text directly (more obstacles) - so i found it easier to attach my comments as a pdf file