I am still looking for the exact quote about
NIH employees being paid to troll the internet with an anti-Lyme agenda--I'll keep looking. But it is referenced below toward the end. I decided to include everything else Newby found via the FOIA she filed, as it sets the tone:
The following is included in prepared statements of Kris Newby, investigative reporter and producer of Under Our Skin Documentary  and Lorraine Johnson, JD, MBA, Chief Executive Officer, LymeDisease.org, for the Field Hearing of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, US Senate Examining LD, Focusing on a Comprehensive Approach To An Evolving Threat (August 30, 2012 in Stamford, CT): (Newby portion begins on p. 44, Johnson portion begins on p. 47)/www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CHRG-112shrg75786/pdf/CHRG-112shrg75786.pdfThrough a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request in an investigation of possible conflicts of interest of three CDC employees who control public health policy for LD
(Barbara Johnson, Paul Mead and David Dennis), information was obtained in May, 2012 from the Department of Health and Human Services.
The FOIA is supposed to be fulfilled within a month but it took the CDC almost five years to fulfill this request, which included 3000 pages of documents and 1400 pages of emails between the CDC, NIH and authors of the IDSA Lyme Practice Guidelines. The information received was highly redacted (appx. 1200 pages) with approximately half of the information cut, which makes one wonder what the CDC knows about
LD that requires hiding from the public.CDC Allows Commercial Group to Set Lyme Disease Policy and Funding Without Transparency or Oversight:
* In early 2005, leaders of the IDSA, a commercial medical society, formed an ad hoc group of 26 members whose initial aim was to discredit and remove a competitive set of Lyme disease treatment guidelines (ILADS) from the National Guidelines Clearing House.
* This ‘‘Ad Hoc International LD Group” convened during government-funded, closed-door meetings and had members who were researchers with significant commercial interests in Lyme disease tests and vaccines; CDC and NIH government officials; and foreign nationals.
* This group set LD policy and a national research agenda without public oversight or transparency, and subsequently a large percentage of government grants were awarded to its own members. Part of the group’s stated mission was to run a covert ‘‘disinformation war’’ to ruin the reputations of the patients, physicians, and journalists who questioned the group’s research and motives. These findings were revealed in the documents obtained in the FOIA request previously mentioned.
In summary, these newly disclosed emails show that the Ad Hoc International LD Group, which is composed of members of the IDSA, along and enabled by employees of the CDC and the NIH:
* This group has been operating outside of government regulations on transparency and public accountability for years, covertly setting government and Lyme policy, intentionally excluding other stakeholders, running afoul of government
open meeting standards, deliberately subordinating the public interests to those of a private medical society.
* The group’s actions have resulted in implementation of faulty public health policymaking and have damaged Lyme patients throughout the nation who suffer from severely restricted access to care as a result of these policies.
* Their actions have also resulted in favoritism in Federal grant funding as it appears to be steering millions of dollars of grants to group members and suppression of the innovation critically needed by Lyme patients for improved diagnostic and treatment options, and it covertly has been trying to tarnish the reputations of patients, researchers and journalists who disagree with them, using their improper relationships with government employees.
* These acts of commission and omission represent serious breaches of the public trust and undermine the integrity of the scientific research agenda. The CDC and NIH have essentially abdicated their healthcare policy determinations to a Quasi-Governmental Lyme Organization, dominated by a private medical society with no government accountability or oversight.
A number of improprieties were revealed in the CDC and NIH emails released in the FOIA request, including evidence that Ad Hoc International Lyme Disease Group members:
* Disproportionately received about
a third of all LD-related government grants, at the same time several CDC and NIH employees associated with LD research were members of the Ad Hoc group. Since 1991, just 5 Ad Hoc group-affiliated organizations received more than $88 million in government research grants.
* Allowed a researcher who owns a company that markets LD tests and vaccines to organize a CDC–NIH-sponsored meeting where LD government funding strategies were being determined. Shortly after he organized this meeting, his company’s government grant total approximately doubled, to over $2M per year.
* Used their government positions to try to remove ILADs LD studies and guidelines (these are the competing medical society ILADS Guidelines supported by Lyme specialists).
* An NIH employee used his government credentials to orchestrate a ‘‘disinformation war’’ through anonymous tips, blogs and press leaks, against physicians and researchers who seek to publish scientific findings that contradict those of the IDSA guidelines authors.
* Used their government titles and positions to block patient-backed LD legislation.
Additional revelations from the FOIA documents:
* Newby’s document also lists authors of the IDSA Guidelines and compares it to membership in this Ad Hoc group, and lists associations between authors and government grants for research.
* Newby’s document cites statements by NIH’s Edward McSweegan (an NIH employee who was demoted for harassing and stalking LD advocates) declares war on Lyme patients and joins the Ad Hoc Group.
* In this group of documents culled from the FOIA request, is this gem from Phillip Baker, the former NIJ Lyme program officer who wrote to a CDC colleague, “I will certainly miss all of you people—the scientists, but not the “Lyme loonies,” a term he told the Poughkeepsie Journal, “might be too kind a description.”
This sums up in two words what physicians and scientists who challenge official policies on LD are up against.
* In an email to Barbara Johnson, Ph.D., a CDC researcher aligned with the IDSA panelists, Durland Fish, Ph.D., professor of epidemiology at Yale University and core member of the Ad Hoc Group, wrote, "This battle cannot be won on a scientific front. We need to mount a socio-political offensive."
* March 2008—CDC’s Barbara Johnson works with NIH’s Edward McSweegan and IDSA Lyme guidelines authors to lobby against a LD patient protection bill.
.............Subject: Maryland; Lyme Public Awareness Bill (HB 836).
..............“Anyone have any contacts in the Maryland Dept. of Health who would be interested in knowing about
..............Maryland bill and the efforts of activists to kill it?— Ed”
................................“Ed, This is the contact information for the State epidemiologist. Paul, is this current? If not, please
................................send us both a link to the list of all the State epis.—Barbara’’ (Source: CDC–NIH–War–Emails-9–11–2)
* Mary Beth Pfeiffer of the Poughkeepsie Journal highlighted the worst conflicts of interest between federal officials and a core group of researchers receiving government grants. (Carl Tuttle); CITE
Post Edited (Pirouette) : 5/13/2017 7:54:15 PM (GMT-6)