chronic fatigue syndrome, cfs, chronic fatigue immune dysfunction, cfids, myalgic encephalopathy, fibromyalgia, fms, Forum,  myalgic encephal, m.e., low blood volume, neurotoxin, orthostatic intolerance, multiple chemical sensitiv, National CFIDS Foundation, chronic fatigue, NCF Forum newsletter, chronic illness

By National CFIDS Foundation Medical Committee ©2007
An 115 page oversight report on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that was authored by the Minority Office of the Federal Financial Management Subcommittee examined how far off track the CDC has gone and made recommendations on how it could get back on track. The CDC is expected to spend their $10 billion annual budget on treating and preventing diseases along with dealing with safety threats but they waste millions of dollars. The report, "CDC Off Center", was put on ranking member Senator Tom Coburn's website and, although he said it "is not an effort to discredit the good work" but one that is hoped the federal agency will look at as a way to return to better fulfilling their mission. The report did not mention the historical fiasco that continues to this day in addressing "CFS" and the way they have managed to bury the actual disease they were supposed to be looking at, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.), but that was well documented in Hillary Johnson's outstanding historical novel, Osler's Web and continues to this day. This may be a good opportunity to let your own congressional representatives know that this medical fiasco has continued and has obliterated the disease known as M.E. While the 1988 CDC's Holmes criteria listed some neurological symptoms, the 1994 (Fukuda) criteria have none.

On the cover of the report on the CDC, it states, "A review of how an agency tasked with fighting and preventing disease has spent hundreds of millions of tax dollars for failed prevention efforts, international junkets, and lavish facilities, but cannot demonstrate it is controlling disease." Some of the examples contained in their report include:

  • $1.7 million spent on a Hollywood liaison program which included funds set aside for terrorism. The program just happened to be run by a former CDC employee.
  • $49 million spent on conferences that included prostitutes, protests and beach parties.
  • $200,000 spent on a fitness center with mood-enhancing lightshows and $3,500 zero gravity chairs.
  • AIDS funds spent on a transgender beauty pageant while 40,000 new HIV cases annually are seen.
  • Syphilis prevention funds spent to feature a porn star's presentation.
  • $250,000 spent so two former employees could help build staff morale.
  • Funds that could have been spent on retroviral drugs to prevent mother-to-child AIDS transmission for more than 115,000 infants were, instead, spent to send 110 CDC employees to two AIDS conferences.
  • $5.1 million spent on audio visuals that include a 70 foot wide video wall and plasma television screens.
  • $106 million spent on a communications and visitor center but there already was a visitor's center.
  • A Hawaiian office of the CDC to open in Manoa when a Hawaiian Senator oversees the CDC funds.
  • Funds a bar night and manual on how to throw an alcohol party.
  • Funds "serious health issues" such as land development, bike paths, and guns.
  • CDC's Atlanta campus is like a theme park including Japanese gardens and they even paid to have a "woman" made out of vegetables for their lobby.
  • Secretary of Health Leavitt uses the CDC's leased jet at a cost of millions "in times of emergency" which turned out to include visits to teach senior citizens about Medicare Part D and other speaking engagements that could not be termed an "emergency". (However, Leavitt has not found time to address the CFSAC's recommendations for years!)
  • A "revolving door" was seen funding ex-employees of the CDC but no mention was made of the CDC's failure to get a prevalence estimate in over a decade while funding a private company owned by an ex-CDC high-level employee.
The report says the "CDC says it has 'remained at the forefront of public health efforts to prevent and control infectious and chronic diseases...'" From this report and from what every PWC/ME patient knows, it has done just the opposite. Although the CDC's budget has nearly tripled in the past 10 years, some of the agency's documents indicate it has decreased. "CDC Off Center" says "Perhaps there is a budgetary reason why the CDC does not 'count' over a $1.8 billion dollars it has received and spent over the last few years..." Is this a new problem? In 1993, the U.S. government spent $277,000 on "pickle research."

The CDC continues to make news as the media reported a month later that they have "lost" $22 million worth of equipment from their site and a thorough audit has been said to be taking place. The audit will also look in to whether the CDC has implemented the recommendations that were in a prior report. In the past few years, there have been 61 investigations into theft or disappearance of property belonging to the CDC but no arrests or disciplinary actions have resulted thus far.

Regarding the report "CDC Off Center", Tom Coburn, M.D, U.S. Senator, asks others to "submit a tip" with any "examples of government waste, fraud, or abuse." You can do it anonymously though the internet at or by writing to his subcommittee at Senator Tom Coburn, Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, and International Security, 340 Dirksen Senate Office Bldg., Washington, DC 20510. As Dr. Coburn wrote, "It is up to the American people to demand that their elected officials respond vigorously to the findings." The NCF has written but not yet received a reply. Join us and let them know that a disease in huge numbers that have debilitated hundreds of thousands has been purposely obfuscated by the CDC to the extent that a physician is no longer able to diagnose ME in this country. Send copies to your own federal senators.


The National CFIDS Foundation * 103 Aletha Rd, Needham Ma 02492 * (781) 449-3535 Fax (781) 449-8606