Wednesday, May 11, 2016

I’d Like Some Water from Flint, Please.

ME research has long deserved real, meaty, physiological research, but will the government ever conduct it? 

If the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can bury the evidence that lead was heavily contaminating the water in Washington, D.C., back in 2004, and again, more recently, in Flint, Michigan—a problem that for all its complexity will probably be far easier and cheaper to solve than ME—why would CDC come clean about the severity of ME and undertake good studies?

Had Virginia Tech engineering professor and environmental hero Marc Edwards not intervened in both water crises—in the latter case, a Flint resident contacted him to help—the public may never have known. How many more children would have suffered irreversible brain damage? How many already have?

Oddly CDC and the EPA have largely escaped scrutiny in Flint and Washington, D.C. Most of the press has ignored the federal government's role in Flint, focusing instead on the evil-doings of Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. 

However, Democratic Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, who sat on the committee to investigate CDC during the Washington, D.C., water crisis summed it up this way: "The CDC has participated in nothing short of a cover-up that may have harmed families, especially children, in ways that could be difficult to redress."  

The bigger issue is why?  Why did the governmental agencies pretend that the water was fine? Why does CDC continue to dismiss ME as a trivial and psychological problem? Who is telling these civil servants to participate in cover-ups that have caused so much needless suffering? 

With ME, the evidence has long pointed to bureaucrat Tony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. Fauci, you may recall, ignored HIV in much the same way in the 1980s until HIV protestors went after him as public enemy no. 1, with such activists as writer Larry Kramer labeling him a “murderer.” Doesn’t the moniker still apply?  After all, Fauci has long dismissed ME as psychological, while homebound patients are waiting to live and waiting to die.

Unless Fauci himself dies or retires—he is, after all, 75 years old—will anything in the government sector change with ME? Unless private research yields something that the government can’t sweep under the carpet, it's unlikely.

After all, despite the Institute of Medicine’s 2015 findings that ME is a serious physiological disorder, CDC still only lists "counseling, support groups and cognitive therapy" on its website under how to improve “health and quality of life” for those with the disease. This, despite patients and the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Advisory Committee asking CDC to take down that woefully inaccurate information for many years.

President Obama gave Tony Fauci the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2008. And during the Ebola crisis, MSNBC talk-show host Rachel Maddow called Fauci a “great American."

Sometimes, I have to hold my head to keep it from exploding.


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