Our Response to Dr. Koroshetz' Refusal to Cancel Lecture by ME Disease Denier



This letter is in reply to Dr. Koroshetz letter of Nov 4, 2016 to the ME/CFS community refusing to cancel the invitation by NIH of a lecture to NIH investigators titled: “Chronic fatigue Syndrome in Historical Perspective”.

Dear Dr. Koroshetz,

Thank you for your time in replying to the ME/CFS community regarding our objection to NIH's invitation to Dr. Edward Shorter to lecture on "a historical perspective on CFS". In your letter, you ask the community to endorse "the scientific enterprise" of Dr. Shorter's viewpoint about ME/CFS (that it is a somatoform condition).  You assert: "We know so little about the biological causes and nature of the disease that inclusivity of scientific thought will be critical to our success."

Let us explain why not only will the community refuse to endorse Dr. Shorter as an educator about ME/CFS but will object to anyone at NIH who profess the same lies about a disease that has an infectious onset with evidence (over 5,000 published papers) of biological, neurological, muscle, immune, ATP, metabolomic, mitochondrial, gut and autonomic abnormalities.

The role of any medical doctor is to "first do no harm".  The lazy dogma that ME/CFS is a somatoform condition has harmed millions of patients for the past thirty years. This corruption started following the Lake Tahoe outbreak - when the CDC dismissed biological evidence found there and started a spiral of steps in order to cover-up the real evidence. This whitewashing was accomplished with the machination of a trivial "fatigue" name (chronic fatigue syndrome) and government constructed overly broad and false criteria.

This burial in the sand of the real facts and evidence of the biological disease myalgic encephalomyelitis still continues today at the CDC and the NIH with the following:  

  • Refusal to adopt and exclusively use the authentic name for the disease - myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME)

  • Rejection of the experts' criteria for the disease (CCC, ICC, Ramsay's) in favor of the government constructed faulty criteria (Oxford, Fukuda, IOM)

  • Disdain toward any recommendation for input in the government process regarding ME/CFS by the patient and advocate community (ignoring CFSAC recommendations; refusing input from start to end in the NIH ME/CFS Clinical Study; preserving faulty information on government websites, educational materials and continuing professional education and many more requests including the current Dr. Shorter issue)

  • Employing NIH investigators with the same false illness beliefs about ME/CFS as Dr. Shorter's (somatoform, catastrophizing) and appointing them to the current NIH ME/CFS Clinical Study while ignoring the outcry from the patient and advocate community (Drs. Walitt,  Gill and Saligan - see blog NIH Sidesteps Critical problems with the ME/CFS Study).

  • Suppressing adequate and equitable NIH funding for the past 30 years resulting in the prolonged suffering and early deaths of millions of ME patients  ($250 million a year is the minimum amount ME/CFS should be getting - equitably, it should be $2 billion a year)

It is evident that this malfeasance has been and continues to be the pattern with CDC and NIH.  It is obviously a profitable enterprise for NIH to be able to "fit" as many conditions as possible under the so-called “Conversion Disorder” (Functional Neurological Symptom Disorder) and “Somatic Symptom Disorder” (SSD) diagnostic codes. This would absolve NIH from further funding biological studies for these diseases. Your decision that Shorter could add value to NIH's understanding of ME/CFS is not only unscientific and self-serving but, an insult and dangerous to every ME patient.  

There is historical evidence of many harms to humans performed in the name of "scientific advancement".  On which side will NIH stand when the day of reckoning will come regarding the harm perpetrated by the US government health agencies toward the ME patient community? 



MEadvocacy.org Advisory Committee:

Colleen Steckel, Joni Comstock, and Tracey Smith

Relatingtome.net - patient advocate and blogger:

Gabby Klein