Like a bullfighter 'playfully' flourishing red posters and a sharp message, ME/CFS patient Rivka (remember her "One Woman Protest" at Red Cross & NIH Headquarters in September?) has gained attention in Washington once more. On Dec 3, just four days after Rivka's Protecting the Nation’s Blood Supply. NOT! video and patient email campaign launched, the American Red Cross announced its decision to ban ME/CFS patient blood donations. At the least, the campaign may have been the cherry on top of a series of events that spelled media attention.
BELOW, see the immediate Wall Street Journal and Washington Post coverage of the Red Cross action (also read the comments & note hundreds of 'thumbs up'); the next-morning coverage on finance/business news site Bloomberg.com; and Rivka's press release with a link to the Red Cross announcement.
Wall Street Journal, Dec 3, 9:28 pm ET - "XMRV: Red Cross Now Barring Blood Donors Who Have CFS," by Amy Dockser Marcus.
Washington Post, Dec 3, 4:23 pm ET - "Red Cross bars chronic fatigue [syndrome] patients from donating blood," by Rob Stein. The story hit page 2 of the next day's hard copy edition.
Bloomberg.com, Dec 4, 8:44 am PT - "Red Cross Bans Chronic Fatigue [Syndrome] Patients from Giving Blood Amid Virus Study," by Michelle Cortez and Dan Hart.
Rivka's Dec 3 news release on the "Protecting...NOT" campaign aftermath:
“Today, in a Friday afternoon under-the-radar "news dump" (that they hope no one in the press corps will notice), the Red Cross National Headquarters issued a press release:
They have "deferred" (that means banned) people with ME/CFS/XMRV from *ever* donating blood. Today's press release, including their phone number, is found here. ["American Red Cross Statement on XMRV and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome," Dec 3, 2010]
I called the Red Cross media office to ask when this policy was put in place. I was told that the woman who wrote the new policy has "left early today" (how surprising!), but I was told it was some time in October. (But then they forgot to tell the world about this ban until today?)
Yes, this press release is the first time most of the public will be hearing about this ground-breaking ban.
The video and email campaign - Protecting the Nation’s Blood Supply. NOT! - that we started only 4 days ago on Nov 29 (found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DSzTCYPAvs&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL) may have contributed to this success, but there were simultaneous campaigns and also earlier advocacy efforts, too, including a Facebook campaign.
So this was likely a group effort and success - as it should be!
A big fat CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL WHO WROTE THE RED CROSS."