July - August 1999
A report on
coverage of CFIDS in the mainstream media.
The past two months have seen extraordinary news coverage of CFIDS. The developments
the Inspector General's (IG) report on misspending at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) continued
to generate news reports, all of which have been sympathetic toward the illness. Also, coverage of the
Women's Cup soccer tournament has resulted in a number of profiles of Michelle Akers, the veteran star
of the team. Those stories, while focused on Michelle's extraordinary courage, have portrayed CFIDS as
a serious and poorly understood illness with essentially no viable treatments. Here are some of the highlights:
June 21, Air Force Times.
June 3, The
(Conn.) Courant, "Chronic Fatigue Research Funds Were Diverted," by Thomas D. Williams. Local PWCs
Todd Dyer and Michelle Lapuk were interviewed. "Research to help young people such as Dyer (will be delayed)
because the CDC never got a study of adolescents started as had been planned."
May 28, ABC TV, "Good
May 28, Washington Post, "Audit Reveals CDC Misled Congress About Funds,"
by Valerie Strauss. The CFIDS Association's Kim Kenney: "I won't be relieved until I see what the agency
does in terms of both restoring the money that was misspent and making sure the research is back on track."
This article was also published in Charlotte, N.C., Seattle, Wash., and elsewhere.
May, 26, Fox
News. The Washington, D.C., Fox TV station led its 10 p.m. newscast with the story and sent the report
to the affiliates around the country for use on local news shows. The CDC's Bill Reeves: "This is a serious
disease...I blew the whistle because I believe this research is important."
May 24, US News.
Rep. John Porter's aide objected to the CDC's "bait-and-switch tactics" and said: "We consider lying to
Congress a very serious matter."
May 17, Congressional Quarterly Daily Monitor, "Probe Finds
CDC Misled Congress on Use of Funds."
May 16, Boston Globe, "Funding for Chronic Fatigue Diverted,"
by Richard Knox.
Michelle Akers coverage
June 24, Chicago Tribune, "Akers
calls on power
from within to keep going," by Bonnie DeSimone. Describing the worse period of illness, in the early 1990s,
the article states: "Constantly drained, plagued with migraine headaches, she found it difficult to do
the simplest household tasks."
June 22, Los Angeles Times, "Achingly Good: Despite her battle
with chronic fatigue, Akers has shown inexhaustible courage," by Grahame L. Jones. The team doctor, Mark
Adams, was quoted: "It wasn't that other players didn't suffer to stay at the top. It was take that and
multiply if by 10 for Michelle. Every aspect...nutrition, hydration, fatigue, all of that was sort of
raised to a new level."
June 4, Washington Post, "Akers's Exhausting Opponent: U.S. Soccer
Star Battles Chronic Fatigue Syndrome."
May 24, Parade. An interview with Michelle Akers
on soccer, God and her battle with CFIDS.
April 25, The Lufkin (Texas) Daily News,
"Frame of Mind,"
by Valerie Culp Wilkerson. Showcased the unique framed watercolors of artist Russ Havard and described
his five-year struggle with CFIDS. Havard had to re-invent his artwork to fit into the limits of his illness.
He now paints tiny images or long, narrow works, which he can do in bed. Many of the works convey a message
about his illness.
Thanks to those who have been working with the media to increase awareness
The CFIDS Public Relations (CPR) Team helps to monitor the media and responds to particularly positive
or troublesome news reports. Please clip articles about CFIDS, note the name and date of the publication,
and send to CPR Team, PO Box 220398, Charlotte NC 28222-0398. To join the team and receive alerts
about media coverage, send a note to that address or E-mail to email@example.com.