“So now we have… a pandemic fueled by political motives coupled with a consummate disregard for public health, and a pandemic which, when the sources, motives, and actions that led to the … pandemic come to light, will be incomprehensible in its amorality and foolishness.”
– Medical doctor
(personally requested anonymity, for fear of reprisal)
Could a vaccine agenda, under the pretext of biowarfare defense, explain why the EIS, and its point-man Allen Steere, were so heavily involved in controlling the non-response to the Lyme Epidemic, which started just outside a biowarfare lab?
It is certainly feasible that a two-step program was put into place with respect to a vaccine development and marketing agenda for Lyme disease.
Step-I would involve the leaking of the pathogen into the public,[i] with associated treatment-prevention and cover-up techniques subsequently employed by pharmaceutical companies using their influence over the CDC and other regulatory agencies. This would keep the public ignorant about the nature and extent of the disease, so that well-connected researchers (conveniently doubling as pharmaceuticals consultants and military biowarfare experts) could monitor the immune response of the disease in untreated controls. This information could then be exploited to develop a vaccine.
Once this phase was complete, and a candidate vaccine developed, would come Step-II. The vaccine could be tested under the secrecy and human experimentation privileges afforded by the covert biowarfare research infrastructure, which has conducted decades of destructive experiments with impunity. The health crisis created through the “treatment-denial phase” of the vaccine-development experiment could then be used to generate demand and justify implementing the vaccine, despite predictable side-effects.
“The most serious and disappointing circumstance was when I caught the CDC red-handed trying to… masquerade opinion as data supported by objective and provable facts.”
–Dr. Ed Masters, Lyme researcher
The otherwise inexplicable policies of the Steere camp, which are more geared toward perpetuating the epidemic than halting it, can be viewed as implementing such a strategy. The Steere camp has created an environment conducive to developing and testing vaccines and also one for marketing them!
Such a strategy is not as far out as it may seem. The parameters that would lead to a favorable market for Lyme vaccines were outlined in a blunt CDC paper on the cost-effectiveness of a Lyme disease vaccine. According to the conclusions of the paper (published in 1999), vaccines against Lyme disease would only be cost-effective if the probability of contracting Lyme disease was increased significantly from the existing levels.[ii]
As Emma Hitt explained in Nature Medicine,[iii] the cost-effectiveness argument for a vaccine (“savings per case averted”) only made sense if nearly an order of magnitude increase in infection rates took place:
• “A cost-effectiveness analysis of the Lyme disease vaccine by the CDC indicates that the use of Lymerix vaccine is justified only in areas in which the incidence of Lyme disease is high.
• They found that the mean net savings of vaccination per case averted is $3,377 if the probability of contracting Lyme disease is estimated at 0.03. However, the probability of contracting Lyme disease is, in all but a few areas, less than 0.005.”
The CDC vaccine-marketability authors found that, within parameter values estimated to be accurate at the time when the first Lyme vaccine was being marketed, increasing the probability of Lyme disease to 1%-3% would make the vaccine appear cost-effective. The problem was that, except for a few isolated areas, this proposed probability of contracting Lyme was far higher than actual infection rates.
• Were CDC policies put into place to correct this?
• Were CDC-trained epidemiologists (EIS), such as Allen Steere, put in place to justify disastrous policies to make the vaccine cost-effective, as outlined in this CDC-authored publication?
• Does this explain the decades of outrageous CDC policies to the detriment of the public, allowing Lyme disease to spread generally and its effects to worsen individually beyond what they would have with proper treatment so that a vaccine could be justified from a financial standpoint?
“In recent years, drug companies have perfected a new and highly effective method to expand their markets. Instead of promoting drugs to treat diseases, they have begun to promote diseases to fit their drugs.”
–Marcia Angell, New York Review of Books
The CDC vaccine-marketability study spells out how the “cost-savings of vaccination” against Lyme disease can be computed by examining “the effect of combinations of six inputs”:
cost of vaccination
annual probability of contracting Lyme disease
costs of successfully treating either early symptoms of Lyme disease or one of three sequelae
probability of diagnosing and treating early symptoms
probability of sequelae due to early infection
probability of sequelae due to late, disseminated infection
Thus, this article reveals how a business case could be made to offset the costs of an expensive Lyme disease vaccine for each of these parameters, if
the probability of contracting the disease increases
the cost of treating Lyme disease increases
the probability of correctly diagnosing it decreases
the probability of effectively treating it decreases; and, correspondingly,
the probability of developing short- and long-term complications (sequelae) from Lyme disease increases
I propose that this CDC article provides insight into the overarching principles behind the Steere camp’s “Lyme Disease Cartel” (managed largely by CDC epidemiologists), and therefore provides a blueprint of the real goals behind decades of disastrous CDC Lyme disease policies.[iv]
Indeed, with this article as a backdrop, it should be obvious that the policies advocated by the Steere-camp pharmaceutical consultants that have resulted in abject misery for Lyme victims represent gain for vaccine interests.
The article explains:
The perpetuation of mythologies (variations of the “hard to catch, easy to cure” myth) that allow the epidemic to spread more readily (the “easy to catch, hard to cure” reality) while keeping the public and the medical community in the dark as to the true nature and extent of the disease
» This increases the “probability of contracting Lyme disease”
The promotion of notoriously inaccurate test methodologies over more effective ones, while grossly underplaying the effect this has on the burgeoning epidemic
» This decreases the “probability of diagnosing and treating early symptoms” (while the epidemic is building)
The promotion of ineffective, short-term antibiotic regimens over more effective, long-term antibiotic regimens that have been developed through years of careful, empirical research
» This increases the “probability of sequelae due to early infection; probability of sequelae due to late, disseminated infection”
The systematic harassment of physicians who learn how to diagnose and treat the disease effectively by using these antibiotic treatments
» This both decreases the probability of effectively treating Lyme disease and increases the probability of generating short- and long-term disease symptoms, the expensive treatments for which make a vaccine look cost-effective by comparison
The denial of the role of active infection in sustaining long-term or chronic Lyme disease and the associated symptoms
» This also decreases the probability of effectively treating Lyme disease at the source and increases the probability of generating long-term Lyme disease symptoms
» The downplaying of chronic or asymptomatic infections ultimately causing long-term symptoms also makes the vaccine trials easier to conduct (allows a shorter surveillance time with a shorter list of symptoms to monitor)[v]
Indeed, the Lyme “vaccine marketability” argument could also explain other controversial tenets long held by the Steere camp, including the following:
The overemphasis of the relatively fast-developing Bull’s-Eye rash symptom (Erythema migrans) as an indicator of Lyme disease, when this occurs in only half (or less) of Lyme victims[vi]
The restricting of Lyme disease to an arthritic disease, while absurdly denying that numerous, debilitating symptoms (both short- and long-term) such as cognitive and cardiac problems are routinely induced by the disease.[vii]
Overemphasizing the prevalence of the Bull’s-Eye rash and arthritis in Lyme disease cases has major benefits for vaccine development. By concentrating on only one or two of the “protean manifestations” of Lyme disease, a vaccine can be made to appear more effective by emphasizing short-term conditions and ignoring long-term ones. Additionally, the difficult and costly problem of running vaccine trials can be made much more manageable. This is because, in addition to helping spread the infection for reasons described above, the insistence that Lyme disease is characterized by a fast-forming and easily recognized Bull’s-Eye rash along with arthritis symptoms drastically shortens the surveillance time (and thus the required FDA approval time) in vaccine trials and eases the “surveillance criteria” defining a positive case of Lyme disease following experimental vaccination.
Indeed, according to the authors of one Lyme vaccine study, the long lead-time, late-stage disease manifestations of Lyme disease presented unique and significant problems[viii] for vaccine trials, since they required longer and therefore more expensive monitoring periods:
“Late-stage disease, which can occur weeks to years following infection, may cause complex rheumatologic, neurological and cardiac manifestations. These variable manifestations can make definitive diagnosis problematic and present difficulties in determining case definitions for use in vaccine efficacy trials. The long latency period for the appearance of symptoms also has implications for a trial, since prolonged surveillance must be employed.” [emphasis added]
Thus, by ignoring symptoms that form over periods of months to years and which are difficult and expensive to diagnose and, by emphasizing symptoms that are easy to diagnose and monitor, the ability to make experimental vaccine trials look more successful is enhanced.
This was the course taken in the trials for the first commercial vaccine against Lyme disease. In spite of the fact that researchers associated with SmithKline Beecham admitted the size of the vaccine trials “will not be sufficient to determine vaccine efficacy against rare manifestations of LD with comfortable precision,”[ix] an IDSA meeting was used to make ridiculously overoptimistic statements regarding the vaccine’s effectiveness against so-called asymptomatic manifestations. According to one optimistic synopsis of the vaccine trials:
“A study with Lymerix®, manufactured by SmithKline Beecham Biologicals, presented at the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) meeting in Philadelphia, showed that after three doses, Lymerix reduced the risk of asymptomatic Lyme disease infection by 100 percent.” [x]
Such absurd vaccine marketing claims may also explain why Steere himself has made so many statements trivializing these non-arthritic symptoms over the years, and has recently claimed that these asymptomatic cases are not only rare in American infections,[xi] but form over a period short enough to have been monitored[xii] in his vaccine trial.
“The pharmaceutical companies depend upon a lot of their profits for drugs and so on to treat chronic illnesses. These are patients they think they are going to have for the rest of their lives. So it’s a big profit center for them. … They don’t really like solutions to these illnesses because it cuts into their profits, long-term profits. So in that regard, they have not been our best friends.”
–Dr. Garth Nicholson, former David Bruton Jr. chair in cancer research,
Department of Tumor Biology, the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston
The Unrivaled Destructive Power of “Big Pharma”
Is there a power center capable of manipulating the definition and treatment of a disease for such a nefarious agenda? If so, how does it work?
The pharmaceuticals industry certainly has the money and infrastructure to carry out such an agenda. They also have a history rife with such large-scale doings.[xiii]
This vaccine-friendly agenda is largely accomplished by manufacturing thought-leaders[xiv] out of compliant academics and keeping them on retainer as consultants to write pharma-friendly treatment guidelines and publish pharma-friendly articles in pharma-dominated medical journals. Such thought leaders are also kept on retainer to serve as “expert witnesses” when doctors who buck the system are put on trial. [xv]
The rotating door between the pharmaceuticals industry, private medical societies and government health agencies facilitates the implementation of a vaccine-friendly agenda. This was no more evident than when former CDC director Dr. Julie Gerberding was recently selected to head Merck’s vaccines division:
“As a pre-eminent authority in public health, infectious diseases and vaccines, Dr. Gerberding is the ideal choice to lead Merck’s engagement with organizations around the world that share our commitment to the use of vaccines to prevent disease and save lives.”[xvi]
Additionally, Dr. Carol Baker, past president of IDSA and head of the Lyme disease definition panel (hearing panel) on IDSA Lyme guidelines was appointed head of CDC advisory committee on vaccines. Conveniently “the 2009 IDSA international meeting focused on Lyme vaccine development.”[xvii]
These developments are consistent with the thesis of this article that personnel are being rotated through government health and military agencies (CDC), private medical societies (IDSA) and private pharmaceuticals companies (Merck and others) to carry out dangerous, vaccine-friendly human experimentation policies under the hidden agenda of biowarfare defense.
Also consistent with this hypothesis is a development reported by Dr. Merle Nass, who has been following the military’s deadly anthrax experimentation on the public. Nass reports that in addition to hiring directors from the CDC, Merck has hired a high-level military vaccine expert to help market vaccines. According to Nass, “retired Colonel John Grabenstein, Ph.D., who led the military anthrax vaccine program from 1999 through 2006, supervised multiple poorly conducted studies of anthrax vaccine safety, then moved to Merck Vaccine as a VP.”[xviii]
Of course all of this orchestration takes lots of money, planning, lobbying and media censorship. The pharmaceuticals industry has unrivaled power in this regard. It is the most profitable business on earth[xix] and correspondingly has the most expensive,[xx] extensive[xxi] and effective[xxii] lobby in the U.S. Its lobbying is so successful[xxiii] that it routinely engages in illicit behavior, knowing the profits will far exceed any fines it is eventually hit with (which often set records). These fines are merely factored into the cost of doing business.[xxiv]
Conflicts of interest abound, with respect to pharmaceuticals’ company influence over government regulatory agencies[xxv]—including the FDA,[xxvi] NIH [xxvii] and the CDC.[xxviii] Other media outlets have reported that members of Congress own pharmaceutical stocks.[xxix]
Alarmingly, the pharmaceuticals industry [xxx] has historically played a pivotal role in running the American biological warfare program.
This role would give the industry the ability to create pathogens for which profitable symptom treatments could be sold in perpetuity. Since the pharmaceutical industry dominates the CDC, medical education,[xxxi] medical press [xxxii] [xxxiii] and mass media,[xxxiv] the industry is not likely to be held accountable for disseminating pathogens for which their well-placed consultants could ghost-write self-serving treatment guidelines[xxxv] [xxxvi] (bolstered by ghost-written studies[xxxvii] [xxxviii]), and help intimidate doctors into compliance with them,[xxxix] [xl] to keep the profitable circle going.[xli] The elite medical press has all but given up on preventing such profit-oriented conflicts of interest.[xlii]
“Replacing medical education with industry promotion in the guise of scholarship causes demonstrable harm to trainees, the public and the profession.”[xliii]
–Dr. Amy C. Brodkey
Would pharmaceutical companies perpetuate research with deadly, “sham antibiotics regimens” (such as those short-term antibiotic regimens with ineffective drugs and doses typically recommended for Lyme disease) to make competing treatments that are a threat to corporate profits look less effective by deliberately under-dosing them?
Pfizer is accused of doing exactly this. It was sued in Nigeria for conducting a deadly, unethical drug experiment on children, without the permission of their parents.[xliv] According to an article in the Independent:
The suit further contends that the researchers gave the other half a comparison drug made by Pfizer’s competitor Hoffman-La Roche, but deliberately underdosed them to make their own product look better. Pfizer and its doctors “agreed to do an illegal act,” the suit says, “in a manner so rash and negligent as to endanger human life”.[xlv]
The fact that Lyme disease under-treatment has been surrounded by so many researchers with biowarfare connections explains why their deliberately ineffective treatment regimens (using the wrong drug at the wrong dose for the wrong period of time to give the illusion of treatment while preventing it, as was done in the Tuskegee Study[xlvi]) have not been widely exposed.
Unfortunately, this situation is only getting worse.
Sherwood Ross has reported on the increased collaboration between the pharmaceutical industry and academia in America’s resurgent biowarfare program:
“In case you didn’t know it, the White House since 9/11 has called for spending $44 billion on biological warfare research, a sum unprecedented in world history, and an obliging Congress has authorized it. Thus, some of the deadliest pathogens known to humankind are being rekindled in hundreds of labs in pharmaceutical houses, university biology departments and on military bases.
…Besides the big pharmaceutical houses, the biowarfare buildup is getting an enthusiastic response from academia, which sees new funds flowing from Washington’s horn of plenty.” According to Francis Boyle, an international law authority at the University of Illinois, Champaign… ’American universities have a long history of willingly permitting their research agenda, researchers, institutes and laboratories to be co-opted, corrupted and perverted by the Pentagon and the CIA.’[xlvii]
Lyme Disease: The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of?
The Lyme disease epidemic has proved to be a lucrative opportunity for the biowarfare-connected corporate-linked academics who made their careers pretending to investigate and treat it. Perhaps this explains their reported excitement when the disease first broke out.
Polly Murray, the pioneer Lyme investigator who bore the brunt of the arrogance of the medical establishment that misdiagnosed her and her family,[xlviii] records that the doctors present at her initial meeting with Steere at Yale were strangely enthusiastic about the burgeoning epidemic that was devastating her community. She records one doctor’s strange comments on the newly discovered illness: “Isn’t this exciting?”
The tell-tale rash that signaled the coming onset of symptoms associated with Lyme disease caused Steere camp “experts” as far back as the mid-1970s to view Lyme disease as a model form of experimental arthritis. Stephen Malawista, who oversaw Steere’s initial investigation into the cause of Lyme arthritis, saw the Bull’s-eye rash as “the stuff that rheumatologists’ dreams are made of.”
As summarized by Jonathan Edlow, since “Lyme arthritis had a definable onset, marked by the rash, rheumatologists could study the joint inflammation in a way that they could not for, say, rheumatoid arthritis or lupus.” (The fact that the disease was also caused by an infectious agent that could be modified for use in a vaccine was another plus.) Such considerations would also play into the ease with which post-vaccination rates of infections in experimental populations could supposedly be monitored in vaccine trials. [xlix]
No doubt Steere’s knowledge of the immune response to Lyme disease, gained from his “study of 25 untreated patients monitored longitudinally throughout the course of Lyme disease” came in handy when he was put in charge of an experimental Lyme vaccine trial, while working at Tufts University.[l] This trial was based on the vaccine agent that was licensed to SmithKlineBeecham by Steere’s former employer (Yale). (The study was funded jointly by SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals and the CDC.)
In fact, scientists from the vaccine manufacturer credited Steere with advising them on reducing the background noise of adverse reactions (something he could claim to be an expert at, having carefully monitored the excruciating symptoms in numerous untreated patients throughout the course of their untreated disease).
Steere played a pivotal role in bringing the disastrous vaccine to market. As the “coordinating investigator,” he “coordinated and monitored all laboratory activities, including assay validation, sample testing, and the reporting of results.” He also advised the vaccine researchers on adverse reactions, “especially the serious adverse events.” Steere’s assistance in this matter was essential due to the fact that ”the number of adverse events was so large that it could otherwise have been considered ‘too much background noise.’” [li]
“We the people” need to ask this question: Did reducing this “background noise” involve suppressing negative findings in the form of “adverse events”?[lii] Curiously, Steere’s experimental vaccine, the world’s first vaccine to prevent Lyme disease, was quickly pulled from the market in the face of multiple lawsuits once the public figured out that adverse reactions were inducing symptoms of the disease instead of preventing them.[liii]
The institutionalized Steere camp philosophy that Lyme disease is overdiagnosed and overtreated[liv] has been an epic disaster for Lyme patient victims.[lv]
The New York Times quoted Murray, the woman who conducted the first investigation of Lyme disease in Connecticut (until Steere took it over[lvi] and ran it into the ground), summarizing Steere’s philosophy of denying the existence of chronic Lyme disease and the benefits of long-term antibiotic treatment:
”I am dismayed about Dr. Steere’s position. He feels that it’s overdiagnosed and overtreated, but I see people in the area who are having a real struggle with getting over Lyme disease. And some of them have responded to longer-term treatment.’‘
Murray has provided us an illuminating glimpse into Steere’s early investigation of Lyme disease. Her story, as one of the first victims unfortunate enough to fall under Steere’s dismissive care (her husband was given the Tuskegee “aspirin therapy” [lvii] by Steere, et al at Yale), vividly illustrates the ongoing struggle with the arrogant Yale/CDC/IDSA aristocracy that has plagued the Lyme community from the beginning.[lviii] This arrogance was described by a Navy doctor named William Mast who early on tried to inform Steere that antibiotics could be effective against Lyme disease:
“Allen [Steere] at that time was very adamant about antibiotics having absolutely no role in the disease. We left with some feelings of animosity at that point. And the academic people made us feel like we obviously didn’t know what we were doing. And we knew from our observations that we did.”
Murray, who at first naively trusted Steere, has given us a succinct summary of the “widening gulf” between reality and Steere’s deadly myth:
“There was a widening gulf between what the patients were experiencing and what most of the medical literature was reporting that Lyme disease should be like. Patients were becoming confused and frustrated by the dilemmas in diagnosis. Dr. Steere seemed to be less receptive to what patients were describing, and I felt it more difficult to understand his position on diagnosis, treatment, re-infection and sero-negative patients.”
Dr. Ed Masters, a Lyme doctor from Missouri who more recently caught the CDC red-handed conducting a fraudulent investigation to justify denying the existence and necessity of treatment of Lyme disease in the Southeast, gave a blunter summary of the establishment’s disastrous-yet-strident positions on the nature of Lyme disease:
“First off, they said it was a new disease, which it wasn’t. Then it was thought to be viral, but it isn’t. Then it was thought that sero-negativity didn’t exist, which it does. They thought it was easily treated by short courses of antibiotics, which sometimes it isn’t. Then it was only the Ixodes dammini tick, which we now know is not even a separate valid tick species. If you look throughout the history, almost every time a major dogmatic statement has been made about what we ‘know’ about this disease, it was subsequently proven wrong or underwent major modifications.”
The Steere camp experts have indeed been wrong along. Why should we believe anything they now say about the profitable Lyme Epidemic they created under the pretext of biowarfare-related vaccine research? Why should doctors be hamstrung by the treatment guidelines Steere’s clones have created to perpetuate the epidemic under the pretext of treating it?[lix]
Was the CDC’s Steere camp “less receptive to what patients were describing” because they were being rewarded with perpetual research grants to develop predetermined policies consistent with disease-perpetuation for vaccine development and marketing?
Given the source of Lyme disease, and the people behind the denial of treatment, it is my opinion that we are in the midst of another phase of the CDC Tuskegee Experiment and twin epidemics of disinformation and disease.
For victims of the disease and concerned members of the public, knowledge of the situation must be our own Phase I. But knowledge without action is fruitless. It us up to us to wage Phase II: alerting members of Congress and other officials and demanding action.
And we cannot stop until implementation of Phase III: Making sure our demands are heard and acted on by turning the Lyme Epidemic into the Lyme Solution. This entails protection for doctors who know how to treat Lyme and informing other doctors and the public at large about the nature of the epidemic and who is behind its perpetuation. To this end,
President Obama must extend the mission of his Presidential Commission, formed in the wake of recent revelations on the expanding scope of the Tuskegee Experiment,[lx] to specifically investigate the CDC’s role in Lyme disease treatment-denial.
Lyme disease is not my problem, it is not the Lyme community’s problem. It is not an American problem. It is now an international problem. And it is up to you, to all of you, to solve it.
Let the haunting words of Joseph Mengele, conductor of Nazi medical experiments,[lxi] ring from the past into the present: “The more we do to you, the less you seem to believe we are doing it.’’
[i] For those who are skeptical that the government would expose the public to deadly pathogens like Lyme disease, please see my articles on the history of the government funding of cancer researchers who systematically injected “tumor transplants” into human subjects: “Cancer Man: The Government-Funded Cancer Injection Experiments of Chester M. Southam”: http://www.winstonsmith.net/cancerman.htm
[ii] “Since few communities have average annual incidences of Lyme disease >0.005, economic benefits will be greatest when vaccination is used on the basis of individual risk, specifically, in persons whose probability of contracting Lyme disease is >0.01.” Martin I. Meltzer, David T. Dennis, and Kathleen A. Orloski (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), “The Cost Effectiveness of Vaccinating Against Lyme Disease,” Emerging Infectious Diseases, Vol. 5, No. 3, May-June 1999.
[iii] Emma Hitt, “Poor sales trigger vaccine withdrawal,” Nature Medicine, 8, 311 – 312 (2002).
[iv] Cold-blooded vaccine marketing economics and subsequent politics may indeed explain the otherwise incomprehensible disinformation campaign perpetuated by the Steere camp, which first denied that antibiotics were effective at all and then switched positions to claim they were so fantastically effective as to be used in miraculously short courses.
[v] Increasing the infection rate of Lyme not only increases the marketability of a vaccine against it but it also facilitates associated vaccine trials. This is because the “sample size” (number of test subjects) required for Lyme vaccine trials is inversely proportional to the rate of infection of a given area. The higher the infection rate, the fewer people would be required for vaccine trials. With fewer people required, the trials would be more manageable and cost-effective. Identifying enough areas with suitable infection rates (“The high incidence in some areas facilitated selection of sites.”) was a concern to the vaccine researchers, due to the variability in rates from one region to another:
“As in most vaccine trials, identifying the population at risk is a critical component. As far as LD is concerned, defining this population is particularly challenging because of several factors, including considerable variation in attack rates, even within areas of endemicity; seasonal transmission; year-to-year variability in incidence; and the need for outdoor exposure by subjects.”
This variability in infection rates made it difficult for researchers to settle on a sample size for the phase III trials:
“In addition to affecting site selection, the variation in reported rate and the estimation of the true incidence of the disease made it difficult to determine the appropriate sample size. With reported seasonal attack rates that vary in most publications from 0.1% to 4.0%, the sample size required to detect vaccine efficacy would vary significantly. It was decided the sample size and power calculations on a conservative estimate of an LD seasonal attack rate of 0.5%.”
Francois Meurice, Dennis Parenti, Darrick Fu and David S. Krause, “Specific Issues in the Design and Implementation of an Efficacy Trial for a Lyme Disease Vaccine,” Clinical Infectious Diseases, 1997;25(Suppl 1):S71–5, 1997.
[vi] Steere camp researchers estimate that EM occurs in approximately 90% of Lyme victims. ILADS doctors estimate it occurs in 50% or less. Bull’sEye, p. 205.
[vii] The IDSA Lyme disease treatment guidelines, published by the New England Journal of Medicine, deliberately created this false view of Lyme disease. In a summary table in the article, it labeled widespread and well-document cardiac and neurological manifestations of Lyme disease as “rare” and “extremely rare.”
[viii] The authors of one vaccine study acknowledged the difficulties that Lyme disease presented for vaccine trials:
“Initiating this pivotal trial presented a formidable challenge because of a large number of issues not usually encountered in vaccine trials.”
Francois Meurice, Dennis Parenti, Darrick Fu and David S. Krause, “Specific Issues in the Design and Implementation of an Efficacy Trial for a Lyme Disease Vaccine,” Clinical Infectious Diseases, 1997;25(Suppl 1):S71–5, 1997.
[ix] The occurrence of “rare manifestations” of Lyme disease infection would greatly complicate vaccine trials by requiring a larger number of vaccine recipients to be tracked and tested to evaluate the vaccine’s effectiveness against these manifestations. Such calculations resulted in SmithKline Beecham scientists conducting a phase III clinical trial for their Lymerix vaccine using eight thousand subjects to test against the “primary endpoint analysis” (arthritis). According to SmithKlineBeecham scientists:
“Eight thousand subjects (4,000 per group) would provide ample power for the primary endpoint analysis. While this number of subjects should provide reasonably tight confidence intervals, it will not be sufficient to determine vaccine efficacy against rare manifestations of LD with comfortable precision. The cost and feasibility of conducting a trial involving a huge number of subjects must be balanced against the potential statistical shortcomings.”
Francois Meurice, Dennis Parenti, Darrick Fu and David S. Krause, “Specific Issues in the Design and Implementation of an Efficacy Trial for a Lyme Disease Vaccine,” Clinical Infectious Diseases, 1997;25(Suppl 1):S71–5, 1997.
[x] The vaccine was falsely portrayed as 100% effective against asymptomatic Lyme, the source of the slow-forming and difficult-to-diagnose aspect of Lyme disease at a 1995 IDSA meeting. According to one summary:
“For every four cases of Lyme disease with the characteristic skin rash, there is one case of asymptomatic infection. Asymptomatic infection is significant because it may be the source for onset of late-stage Lyme disease, which is more difficult to diagnose and more difficult to treat,” said Dr. Vijay K. Sikand, adjunct assistant professor of medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine and lead author of the study. “The findings presented at IDSA confirm that Lymerix prevents asymptomatic infection, thus possibly avoiding the risk of late-stage disease.”
“IDSA: Vaccine Lymerix 100% Effective Against Asymptomatic Lyme Disease,” Doctor’s Guide, Nov. 19, 1995.
[xi] “We show that infection with B. burgdorferi may be asymptomatic but that asymptomatic infection is unusual in the United States.”
Allen C. Steere, Vijay K. Sikand, Robert T. Schoen and John Nowakowski, “Asymptomatic Infection with Borrelia burgdorferi,” July 30, 2003. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 2003;37:528–532.
[xii] Steere is still claiming that such asymptomatic cases are nearly always preceded by arthritis symptoms, which would have developed within the scope of his vaccine trial observations.
“In a previous study of 55 untreated patients with erythema migrans who were followed up for 4–8 years, 6 (11%) developed neuroborreliosis and 2 (4%) had carditis within weeks after the skin lesion appeared, and 34 (62%) subsequently had Lyme arthritis. Joint involvement developed within 6 months after disease onset in one-half of the cases and within 2 years in all cases. Therefore, in the vaccine study, the period without treatment and the duration of follow-up were probably long enough for identification of most of the patients who would have developed later manifestations of the infection.”
[xiii] Pharmaceutical companies are certainly capable of engaging in activities on this scale. As Dr. Forcades has summarized:
• “In the brief period from 2000 to 2003, almost all the large pharmaceutical companies went before state tribunals in the U.S., A, accused of fraudulent practices. Eight of these firms were fined over 2.2 billion dollars.
• Four of these eight companies — TAP Pharmaceuticals, Abbott, AstraZeneca and Bayer — admitted criminal responsibility for activities that put the lives and health of thousands of people at risk.”
A Senate Finance Committee summary related the following with respect to criminal activities of the pharmaceuticals industry:
• In recent years, pharmaceutical companies have committed acts that forced them to pay the largest criminal fines in American history.
• In cases involving Pfizer, Eli Lilly, Bristol Myers Squibb and four other drug companies, these fines and penalties have totaled over $7 billion since May 2004.
• In particular, Pfizer has been fined multiple times in the past 6 years for illegal off-label promotion of their drugs. In its latest plea agreement, which took place last September, Pfizer paid $2.3 billion in fines and penalties for off-label promotion of Bextra. This settlement was the largest criminal fine in U.S. history.’
Senate Finance Committee “Staff Report on GlaxoSmithKline And the Diabetes Drug Avandia,” (Max Baucus, chairman, January 2010)
[xiv] Marcia Angell has written on the key role played by manufactured thought-leaders in carrying out the pharmaceuticals’ agenda across the multidisciplinary worlds of academia, research, publishing treatment guidelines-authorship and regulatory agencies,:
“Since drug companies don’t have direct access to human subjects, they need to outsource their clinical trials to medical schools … mainly because it gives them access to highly influential faculty physicians—referred to by the industry as “thought-leaders” or “key opinion leaders” (KOLs). These are the people who write textbooks and medical journal papers, issue practice guidelines (treatment recommendations), sit on FDA and other governmental advisory panels, head professional societies, and speak at the innumerable meetings and dinners that take place every year to teach clinicians about prescription drugs.”
[xv] Dr. Joseph Burrascano described the undue influence of a handful of academics over the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease as follows: “There is a core group of university-based Lyme disease researchers and physicians whose opinions carry a great deal of weight. Unfortunately, many of them act unscientifically and unethically. They adhere to outdated, self-serving views and attempt to personally discredit those whose opinions differ from their own.” As he predicted, Burrascano was brought up on charges after he made these statements at a Congressional hearing.
[xvi] “Former CDC Director Gerberding to Lead Merck Vaccines,” John George, Philadelphia Business Journal, Dec. 21, 2009
[xvii] The IDSA, the chief medical society pushing vaccine-friendly Lyme policies, is dominated by vaccine interests. According to the California Lyme Disease Association: “50% of the 272 speakers at the October 2009 IDSA annual meeting who disclosed conflicts had ties to one or more of the five leading vaccine companies: Merck, GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi Pasteur, Wyeth and Novartis.” Anatomy of IDSA annual meeting: Vaccine Financial Ties, http://www.lymedisease.org/news/lymepolicywonk/270.html.
[xviii] Dr. Merle Nass, who has been following the politics behind the government’s disastrous anthrax policies, has recently warned that the government is planning to test the deadly vaccine in children. “Let’s Test Anthrax Vaccine in Children/ Bio Prep Watch,” http://anthraxvaccine.blogspot.com/2011/05/lets-test-anthrax-vaccine-in-children.html
[xix] According to Dr. Forcades:.
‘In 2002, the total earnings of the ten largest pharmaceutical companies exceeded the combined earnings of the other 490 companies listed in Fortune’s top 500 most profitable companies … The gross profit margins of the pharmaceutical industry range from 70% to 90% and its net income rate is the highest of all industries. In spite of these extraordinary profits, the tax rate imposed on pharmaceutical companies is remarkably below average, standing at 16.2% versus the 27.3% average rate imposed on other large industries.’
[xx] “The pharmaceutical industry spends more on lobbying — $855 million between 1998 and 2006 — than any other industry in the United States, according to the Center for Public Integrity.”
David Gutierrez, “Senators who protected Big Pharma received millions of dollars from drug companies,” NewsTarget.com, Nov. 19, 2007.
[xxi] Dr. Forcades again:
“In 2002, 26 of the 675 pharmaceutical lobbyists on payroll were former members of Congress, and 342 of them were former employees of Congress (20 of whom had held management roles). Each lawmaker has assigned to her/him one or more lobbyists who have the time and financial backing to study their psychological profile, personal and employment history, and their weaknesses.”
[xxii] The New York Times reports one staggering study of how pharma lobbyists were able to get Congress to parrot their talking points:
“Statements by more than a dozen lawmakers were ghostwritten, in whole or in part, by Washington lobbyists working for Genentech, one of the world’s largest biotechnology companies. …The lobbyists … were remarkably successful in getting the statements printed in the Congressional Record under the names of different members of Congress.” Robert Pear, “Many Spoke With One Voice: Lobbyists,” New York Times, Nov. 14, 2009.
[xxiii] Dr. Forcades relates: “Disproportionate privileges that the pharmaceutical industry is enjoying in the form of tax breaks and advantageous laws and agreements show clearly that the industry’s current power and wealth are not the result of a “free market” but rather of a deliberate policy designed to protect an industry that is as politically strategic to the U.S. as the petroleum industry.”
[xxiv] “Since 2004, the pharmaceutical industry has paid $9 billion to settle thousands of criminal and civil complaints related to the illegal marketing of drugs that kill or injure a million Americans EVERY YEAR from adverse drug reactions (ADRs)…. Although the Justice Department routinely pursues cases like this, the fact that a company like Astra Zeneca can pay a $520 million fine for the illegal marketing of a drug that generates $4 billion a year smacks of arrangements once made between small town mayors, their appointed police chiefs and local madams. And unlike drug cartels that are shut down and kingpins that are jailed, U.S. drug companies are typically allowed to pay fines, avoid jail sentences and raise drug prices to offset fines. These companies could not do this without the support of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).” Office of Medical and Scientific Justice, “FDA Complicit in Drug Fatalities,” http://www.omsj.org/corruption/fda-complicit-in-drug-fatalities
[xxv] Sam Wells has summarized the influence that corporations tend to have over the agencies that are supposed to regulate them:
· ‘… Many of the regulatory personnel come from the industry itself. The agency is soon captured, one way or another, to benefit the vested interests in the industry.
· “. . . It is so much easier and, above all, more stable to seize the legal and administrative apparatus than to fight it, turning government agencies into licensors of private monopolies and co-conspirators against the people. . . .”
[xxvi] According to the New York Times, recent legislation to reform the FDA (presumably to control pharmaceutical influence over it) was actually designed to push the FDA into “even greater reliance on user fees from the pharmaceutical companies to finance its drug review activities.” The New York Times warned of “a dangerous dependency that distorts how the agency allocates money and staff and how fast it reviews drugs.” Barry Meier, “Narcotic Maker Guilty of Deceit Over Marketing,” New York Times, May 11, 2007; Daniel Carlet, “Diagnosis: Conflict of Interest,” New York Times, June 13, 2007.
[xxvii] “For the last decade, government scientists at the NIH have quietly been allowed to consult for biomedical companies under policies that defenders have said helped attract talented personnel to the agency. …Hundreds of scientists took millions of dollars in fees and stock from industry. Most of the payments were hidden from public view, raising questions about the scientists’ impartiality in overseeing clinical trials and in making recommendations to doctors for treating patients.” “NIH to Ban Deals With Drug Firms,” Los Angeles Times, Feb. 1, 2005.
[xxviii] “As numerous medicines have been pulled from the market in recent years, worries have grown that experts may be recommending medical products — even ones they know to be unsafe — in part because manufacturers are paying them.
…Congress tightened the rules on outside consulting after similar conflicts were found among members of advisory panels to the Food and Drug Administration. But little attention has been paid to the potential conflicts of advisers to the CDC, even though that agency’s committees have significant influence over what vaccines are sold in the United States, what tests are performed to detect cancer and how coal miners are protected.” Gardiner Harris, “Advisers on Vaccines Often Have Conflicts, Report Says,” New York Times, Dec. 17, 2009
[xxix] “During a year when prescription drug prices and benefits are among the hottest political topics, dozens of members of Congress have another reason to keep their eyes on pharmaceutical companies.
These senators, House members and their families own tens of millions of dollars in stock in drug manufacturers, whose profits could rise or fall depending on what Congress does about the soaring prices of medicine and the push for Medicare drug benefits.
The legislators’ stock holdings are legal but create appearances that trouble some congressional watchdogs and public policy experts.”
Greg Gordon and Andrew Donahue, “Members of Congress Face Conflict of Interest When it Comes to Drug Companies” McClatchy Newspapers, Sept. 29, 2000.
[xxx] The Henry L. Stimson Center has provided a brief overview of the role that George Merck played in the development of the U.S. biological warfare program:
· August 1942: George Merck, president of the Merck & Co. pharmaceutical company, accepts the position as head of the newly created War Research Service (WRS), the coordinating agency that joins government and private institution resources to carry out the U.S. biological warfare program.
· October 1944: Stimson creates the Biological War Committee as a replacement for the WRS. Merck is appointed chairman.
· April to November 1956: Interested in determining whether insects can serve as disseminators of biological weapons agents such as yellow fever, the Chemical Corps releases uninfected mosquitoes around Savannah, Georgia, and then canvasses residents to determine the number of people bitten. Similar tests were later conducted in Florida.
· June 1960: Established the previous year by Defense Secretary McElroy, the Biological and Chemical Defense Planning Board issues a report recommending greater emphasis on biological warfare retaliatory and defensive programs. The board includes scientists, engineers, and research and development experts from industry, academia, and government.
Henry L. Stimson Center: “History of the US Offensive Biological Warfare Program (1941-1973)”
[xxxi] Marcia Angell has documented the sway that pharmaceutical companies have over medical schools and research: “A recent survey found that about two-thirds of academic medical centers hold equity interest in companies that sponsor research within the same institution. A study of medical school department chairs found that two-thirds received departmental income from drug companies and three-fifths received personal income. In the 1980s medical schools began to issue guidelines governing faculty conflicts of interest but they are highly variable, generally quite permissive, and loosely enforced.” Marcia Angell, Drug Companies & Doctors: A Story of Corruption.
[xxxii] Lawrence Altman reported how the leading medical journals are becoming increasingly secretive about the amount of their profits, which are being increasingly funded by the pharmaceutical industry:
“Leading medical journals, once scholarly publications meant to help doctors keep abreast of scientific advances and share information on new remedies, have increasingly become cash cows for medical societies and companies that own them, with annual profits in tens of millions of dollars, largely from drug company advertisements.”
“The Doctor’s World; Inside Medical Journals, A Rising Quest for Profits Published,” New York Times, Aug. 24, 1999.
[xxxiii] The online medical journal PLoS reported that “as a crucial part of their business model, many medical journals rely on revenue from prescription drug advertisements.”
This practice is prominent in the more prestigious journals, such as the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM):
“In 2004, JAMA and NEJM, the two largest and most influential U.S. journals, had the highest revenues from advertising and the cheapest advertising rates…” Fugh-Berman A, Alladin K, Chow J (2006) “Advertising in Medical Journals: Should Current Practices Change?,” PLoS Med 3(6). http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.0030130
[xxxiv] According to a summary by Health Care No:
“A recent FAIR study of nine major media corporations … found connections to six different insurance companies. The study also found crossover between these media corporations and several large pharmaceutical companies, such as Eli Lilly, Merck and Novartis…. In fact, save for CBS, every media corporation had board connections to either an insurance or pharmaceutical company.”
Kate Murphy, “Single-Payer & Interlocking Directorates: The corporate ties between insurers and media companies,” Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, August 2009. http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=3845
[xxxv] The New York Times has revealed the pharmaceutical industry’s influence over the practice of writing treatment guidelines: “The survey, in this week’s issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, sought the opinions of 192 medical experts who participated in writing 44 sets of practice guidelines covering treatment for asthma, coronary artery disease, depression, diabetes, high cholesterol, pneumonia and other ailments.
Of the 100 who responded, roughly 9 out of 10 had some type of financial relationship with a drug manufacturer, including research financing and speaking, travel or consulting fees.
About 6 out of 10 had financial ties to companies whose drugs were either considered or recommended in the guidelines they wrote.
Eleven of the 44 practice guidelines were underwritten by pharmaceutical companies and carried declarations stating so. But of the 44 guidelines, just one reported a potential conflict of interest.”
Sheryl Gay Stolberg, “Study Says Clinical Guides Often Hide Ties of Doctors,” New York Times, Feb. 6, 2002.
[xxxvi] Amy Brodky summarized the manner in which industry influences research, publishing and treatment guidelines authorship: “The nondeclaration of industry sponsorship among writers of clinical practice guidelines, the often relaxed regulation of financial ties between faculty members and industry by medical schools, and the withholding of unfavorable clinical trial data by industry are other examples where financial interest potentially contravenes scientific objectivity.” Dr. Amy C. Brodkey, “The Role of the Pharmaceutical Industry in Teaching Psychopharmacology: A Growing Problem,” Academic Psychiatry 29:222-229, June 2005.
[xxxvii] According to Dr. Lindsey Berkson, writing on ghost-written studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine:
“For example, since 1997 nearly half the articles evaluating drugs in the New England Journal of Medicine were written by scientists who worked as paid advisers to drugmakers or received major research funding from them.” Dr. Lindsey Berkson, Hormone Deception, p. 28.
[xxxviii] “A comparison of agency-authored and traditionally authored publications …showed that … ghostwritten studies outnumbered traditional studies, were published in more prestigious journals by more published authors and were cited by other researchers at a much higher rate. Such practices enable industry to formulate the appearance of ‘scientific consensus’.” Dr. Amy C. Brodkey, “The Role of the Pharmaceutical Industry in Teaching Psychopharmacology: A Growing Problem,” Academic Psychiatry 29:222-229, June 2005.
[xxxix] “For the past 4 years, the staff of the Senate Committee on Finance (Committee) has been examining allegations that pharmaceutical companies attempt to manipulate science to improve the marketability of drugs, potentially at the expense of public safety.
“These allegations include intimidating scientists, ghostwriting studies for academic researchers, suppressing studies that may show that a drug could be dangerous and selecting data to publish results that favor one product over another.” Senate Finance Committee “Staff Report on GlaxoSmithKline And the Diabetes Drug Avandia,” (Max Baucus, chairman, January 2010)
[xl] An article in the Australian revealed the tactics discussed at Merck,to intimidate doctors who criticized the company’s drug policy:
“An international drug company made a hit list of doctors who had to be “neutralised” or discredited because they criticised the anti-arthritis drug the pharmaceutical giant produced.
“Staff at Merck & Co emailed each other about the list of doctors – mainly researchers and academics – who had been negative about the drug Vioxx or Merck and a recommended course of action.
“The email, which came out in the Federal Court in Melbourne as part of a class action against the drug company, included the words “neutralise”, “neutralised” or “discredit” against some of the doctors’ names.
“It is also alleged the company used intimidation tactics against critical researchers, including dropping hints it would stop funding to institutions and claims it interfered with academic appointments.
‘We may need to seek them out and destroy them where they live,’ a Merck employee wrote, according to an email excerpt read to the court by Julian Burnside QC, acting for the plaintiff.”
Milanda Rout, “Viox Maker Merck and Co Drew Up Hit List of Doctors,” the Australian, April 1, 2009. http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25272600-2702,00.html
[xli] Carl Elliott has summarized the whole process: “Academic physicians are still taking paychecks from pharma to sign onto ghostwritten articles; medical schools are still bringing in pharma-funded speakers … and peer-reviewed medical journals are still publishing pharma-funded editorials, review articles and journal supplements. Although the AMA developed clear, well-publicized guidelines governing gifts to physicians many years ago, the guidelines have been widely ignored, perhaps because the pharmaceutical industry funds the AMA itself.” Carl Elliott, “Pharma Goes to the Laundry: Public Relations and the Business of Medical Education,” Hastings Center Report, Posted Nov. 11, 2004..
[xlii] We cannot trust the NEJM to police the pharmaceutical industry ties of its authors. Nathan Newman warned in the Nation:
“In June , the New England Journal of Medicine, one of the most respected medical journals, made a startling announcement. The editors declared that they were dropping their policy stipulating that authors of review articles of medical studies could not have financial ties to drug companies whose medicines were being analyzed.”
In 2006, the Journal of the American Medical Association announced a similar policy. As reported by NewsTarget:
“The Journal of the American Medical Association said that it would not ban authors who fail to disclose financial ties to drug companies, because such an action might bring antitrust lawsuits.”
[xliii] Dr. Amy C. Brodkey, “The Role of the Pharmaceutical Industry in Teaching Psychopharmacology: A Growing Problem,” Academic Psychiatry 29:222-229, June 2005.
[xliv] Pfizer has been slapped with criminal charges in Nigeria over a notorious clinical trial it conducted on children during a meningitis epidemic a decade ago. Patients became unwitting guinea pigs for a new, untested antibiotic and many of them either died or were left with permanent disabilities. The Nigerian authorities say Pfizer researchers selected 200 children and infants from a crowded epidemic camp in Kano in 1996 and gave about half of them an untested antibiotic called Trovan. The lawsuit alleges that the researchers did not obtain consent from the children’s families even though they knew from their own research that Trovan might have life-threatening side effects and was “unfit for human use.”
[xlv] Andrew Gumbel, “Drugs Giant Faces Criminal Charges Over Clinical Trial Thursday,” the Independent/UK, May 31, 2007.
[xlvi] ‘To persuade the community to support the experiment, one of the original doctors admitted it “was necessary to carry on this study under the guise of a demonstration and provide treatment.” At first, the men were prescribed the syphilis remedies of the day – bismuth, neoarsphenamine, and mercury – but in such small amounts that only 3 percent showed any improvement. These token doses of medicine were good public relations and did not interfere with the true aims of the study. Eventually, all syphilis treatment was replaced with “pink medicine” – aspirin.’ Borgna Brunner, “The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment,” http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2010486/posts
[xlvii] Sherwood Ross, “Biowarfare Research: The Deadliest Secret of Corporate America,” June 23, 2007.
[xlviii] In what would be a prologue to the way Lyme victims would later be treated en masse, Murray was treated dismissively and arrogantly by the clueless doctors who saw her during her quest to get to the bottom of what was causing the epidemic in her town. They prescribed aspirin and antidepressants for her symptoms and suggested she was a hypochondriac, or worse. One doctor told her:
“Mrs. Murray, how can I convince you to stop this anxious search…. Please, please, accept the fact that everything has been done, and forget this fruitless search for a label. Nothing at all has shown up on tests. We can do no more. I personally think you are a case of a wounded intellect and you are obsessed with making a case for a disease that exists most likely only in your own mind.”
Unfortunately, this attitude is still all too characteristic of a medical system that continues to be dismissive of thousands of Lyme victims. Polly Murray, The Widening Circle, pp. 58, 100. (St. Martin’s Press: New York, 1996)
[xlix] Bull’s-Eye, p. 144.
[l] “As chief of the rheumatology and immunology department at Tufts School of Medicine, Dr. Steere led the research effort on Lymerix, the preventive Lyme vaccine, which first hit the market in January. The research took four years, covered 10 states and involved 11,000 patients and 31 scientists.” “Scientist At Work,” New York Times
[li] The vaccine company thanked Dr. Steere in one paper summarizing the results: “In this regard we are indebted to the Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) and Dr. Steere, whose advice on evaluating the adverse events and especially the serious adverse events has been invaluable. Dr. Steere has also coordinated and monitored all laboratory activities, including assay validation, sample testing” and the reporting of results.” http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/CID/journal/issues/v25nS1/jy05_71/jy05_71.web.pdf
[lii] According to Julia Porter Liebeskind: “A growing body of evidence, much of it focused on faculty members involved in drug trials, suggests that consulting may significantly influence the reporting of research findings. It appears that faculty members may suppress negative findings if they fear that reporting such evidence will reduce their chances of obtaining more remunerative work in the future.” Could this explain why the vaccine made it through the trials even after it was known to induce the very symptoms it was supposed to prevent? “Risky Business: Universities and Intellectual Property.”
[liii] The vaccine was somehow released to the public despite a list of concerns about its safety and usefulness. The New York Times quoted Patricia L. Ferrieri, the committee chairwoman of the National Vaccine Advisory Committee of the Food and Drug Administration (which approved the vaccine): ”It’s rare that a vaccine is voted on with such ambivalence and such a stack of provisos.”
[liv] Steere was a consultant to the insurance industry and has advocated treatment policies that are favorable to it. As summarized by the New York Times:
“Writing in The Journal of the American Medical Association in 1993, Dr. Steere said the disease was overdiagnosed and overtreated — a statement that utterly balkanized groups of sufferers, scientists and clinicians into squabbling factions. …Meanwhile, as a result of Dr. Steere’s influence, insurance companies have sometimes refused to pay for continuing treatments for Lyme. This, in turn, has provoked patients to heckle and even picket Dr. Steere.”
[lv] Unfortunately, the policies of CDC-associated personnel that have dominated the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease have set the agenda on “treating” the epidemic no matter how consistently wrong these policies have been.
[lvi] Elena Cook summarized how Polly Murray’s investigation was taken over by the CDC’s EIS and Steere:
“When Polly Murray made her now-famous call to the Connecticut Health Department to report the strange epidemic among children and adults in her town, her initial reception was lukewarm. However, some weeks later, she got an unexpected call from a Dr. David Snydman, of the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS), who was very interested. He arranged for fellow EIS officer Dr. Allen Steere to get involved. By the time Mrs. Murray turned up for her appointment at Yale, the doctor she had expected to see had been relegated to the role of an onlooker. Allen Steere had taken charge – and his views were to shape the course of Lyme medicine for the next thirty years, up till today.”
[lvii] The Tuskegee victims were at first given token syphilis medications to create the illusion they were being treated without actually improving their health. This soon changed and “all syphilis treatment was replaced with ‘pink medicine’ – aspirin.” Borgna Brunner, “The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment,” http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2010486/posts
[lviii] Joe Dowhan, the biologist who provided Steere with the evidence that Ixodid ticks were causing the outbreak of Lyme disease, was not provided antibiotics at the time (he was also given the “Tuskegee aspirin-therapy”): “I was never treated with antibiotics because they didn’t have a clue back in 1976 what it was. All I took was aspirin.” He would later develop severely disabling fatigue, as well as neurological and psychological symptoms of long-term, untreated Lyme disease. Bull’s-Eye, pp. 197-198.
[lix] These treatment guidelines are taught in continuing education classes by the same handful of EIS agents who authored the guidelines. This “third-party strategy” of pharmaceutical consultants using Medical Education Communication Companies (MECCs) to launder their self-serving agenda has been referred to by Carl Elliot as “advertisements with the appearance of objectivity”:
“By laundering its message through the MECCS, pharma gives up some control, but the pay-off is even better: advertisements with the appearance of objectivity. PR practitioners call this a “third-party” strategy.” Carl Elliott, “Pharma Goes to the Laundry: Public Relations and the Business of Medical Education,” Hastings Center Report, Posted Nov. 11, 2004. .
[lx] President Obama formed the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues to investigate the extent of experimental abuses:
“Recently, we discovered that the U.S. Public Health Service conducted research on sexually transmitted diseases in Guatemala from 1946 to 1948 involving the intentional infection of vulnerable human populations. The research was clearly unethical. In light of this revelation, I want to be assured that current rules for research participants protect people from harm or unethical treatment, domestically as well as internationally. “I ask you, as the Chair of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, to convene a panel to conduct, beginning in January 2011, a thorough review of human subjects protection to determine if Federal regulations and international standards adequately guard the health and well-being of participants in scientific studies supported by the Federal Government.” “Presidential Memorandum–Review of Human Subjects Protection,” http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2010/11/24/presidential-memorandum-review-human-subjects-protection
[lxi] The Plum Island tick research lab, a likely source of multiple pathogens (including a pathogenic form of a naturally existing Borrelia) which have become epidemics in recent years, was set up by a former Nazi biowarfare scientist, Erich Traub:
“He worked directly for Heinrich Himmler, head of the Schutzstaffel (SS), as the lab chief of the Nazi’s leading bio-weapons facility on Riems Island. Traub was rescued from the Soviet zone of Germany after World War II and brought to the United States in 1949 under the auspices of the United States government program Operation Paperclip, meant to exploit scientific knowledge gained during Nazi rule in Germany. …Traub discussed work done at the Reich Research Institute for Virus Diseases of Animals on Riems Island during World War II for the Nazis, and work done after the war there for the Russians. Traub gave a detailed explanation of the secret operation at the Institute, and his activities there. This information provided the ground work for Fort Detrick’s offshore germ warfare animal diseased lab on Plum Island.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erich_Traub