They came one after another. First came the call from IACFS/ME President Fred Friedberg. Their first recommendation – Dr. Reeves should go. Then came the CFSAC , after virtually no discussion ( a real rarity in this group) – new leadership is needed at the CDC. My mouth gaped open. I heard Robert Millers wife Courtney softly exclaim “Yes!” Several of these people have worked with Dr. Reeves for years, yet there was no hesitation at all, they all agreed Dr. Reeves should go and the group forwarded that recommendation to the secretary of the DHHS.
The unanimity is remarkable; all the professional organizations, most of the support groups, many of the patients – the roar, if the CDC chooses to listen to it, is getting deafening. The CDC personnel can’t have expected this. Sarah ssss from the CDC got up and questioned whether the CFSAC should try to insert itself on personnel issue. Her contribution was brushed aside. Whether the DHHS Secretary is going to act on the recommendation is almost beside the point. The CDC is the one the CFSAC was trying to get the message to.
Thus far the CDC has shown a remarkable ability to tune out all the dissenting viewpoints. Meetings in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s office failed to get their attention. The CAA’s report – put together in excruciating detail over six months - was swept aside. The patient’s loud complaints failed to register. Now the federal advisory committee and the professional organization of ME/CFS researchers have added their voices. The roar is getting hard to ignore.
What will the CDC do at this stage of the game? The 10 year review has been going on for almost a year. The external review panel gave their report several months ago. The CDC is in the last stages of developing their five year strategic plan. If they’d had a desire to remove Dr. Reeves now would have been the time to do it. The review period is not over; the CDC is accepting comments on the draft plan until June 30th but it’s hard to imagine they’re planning on making major changes. There is, however, still one big issue on the table.
Next Up: CAA Shows the Way Out