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Exposing the CDC: Official misspent, misrepresented Chronic Fatigue Syndrmoe (CFIDS) funding

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By Source: Healthwatch • • January 1, 1999

Dr. William C. Reeves, who is responsible for the chronic fatigue syndrome Centers for Disease Control (CDC), has told congressional leaders that more than $5 million has been diverted from CFS research into other programs since 1995.

Dr. Reeves also said CDC administrators—his superiors—have “intentionally misrepresented” CFS expenditures to Congress, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and patients, specifically in response to inquires made by or on behalf of The CFIDS Association of America.

Reeves said the pattern of diverting funds and misrepresenting expenditures is continuing in 1998. The recent cancellation of a unique multi-site study of youth with CFIDS supports his claim. CDC budget overseers said the decision to cancel the study was due, in part, to other programs being overspent. Direct funding for CFS research at CDC will not come close to the $3.4 million promised by Acting Director Dr. Claire Broome in testimony to Congress early this year. And now CDC studies of youth with CFIDS won’t start before the year 2000.

In a three-page statement plus documentation delivered on July 22, Dr. Reeves said he has attempted to rectify the problems within CDC to no avail and requested protection under the federal “Whistleblower Protection Act,” which was established to encourage federal employees to come forward with allegations of mismanagement and waste. The statement was delivered by Reeves to senior staff for Rep. John Porter, R-Ill., and senators Lauch Faircloth, R-N.C., and Jesse Helms, R-N.C. Dr. Reeves also met with the assistant secretary for management and budget in DHHS. On July 23, he met with the Inspector General’s staff at their Atlanta office. Later in the week, counsel for the House Commerce Committee on Government Oversight and Investigations was briefed on the matter.

Reeves sought assistance from The CFIDS Association in taking his documentation to the right people in government. Kim Kenney, Tom Sheridan and Doralee Halperin helped him prepare for the meetings, accompanied him to them and have continuously followed up since.

Dr. Reeves interviews with Kim Kenney and Tom Sheridan about the effort leading up to this event and its significance ofr the CFIDS community.

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