September - October
A report on
coverage of CFIDS in the mainstream media.
Two extraordinary events---the victory in the World Cup by the U.S. women's
and the ongoing investigation of misspending at the CDC---continued to generate favorable news reports
The media, which had written extensively about Michelle Akers' struggle with CFIDS,
noted that instead of celebrating the team's victory, she was having fluids replaced intravenously. Most
coverage described the extraordinary adjustments Michelle has made in her life to be able to play. She
talked about her faith as "the cornerstone to my recovery," along with a strict diet and medical care
that includes treatment for neurally mediated hypotension.
News coverage of the CDC situation
got another boost in July when the General Accounting Office (GAO) began its own investigation, following
up on a report by the Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services. The Association
issued a press release on July 13 about the GAO audit. Here are some highlights:
July 21, Washington Post article details the admission of
misspending and apology by CDC director Jeffrey P. Koplan and his promises to restore funds to CFIDS research
and rebuild trust in the agency.
July 21, National Public Radio news report featured Gail Dahlen,
president of Medical Professionals With CFIDS.
July 27, Reuters News Service runs full report on
the CFS Coordinating Committee discussion of the scandal.
August 6, Washington Post article
reports that Dr. Reeves, the agency "whistleblower," has filed a complaint alleging the CDC has cut his
staff and denied him raises.
Michelle Akers coverage
July 8, St. Petersburg
Times article describes Akers' half-time routine for CFIDS, which includes therapies to
raise her blood pressure.
July 13, NBC TV in San Diego interviewed Michelle and told viewers
they could get information about support groups through the Association.
Inside Edition runs segment introduced as "what it's like to live with CFS." Akers' mother
spoke about Michelle being virtually bedridden in the early days of her illness.
July 15, Boston Globe editorial by Ellen Goodman pondered about Michelle, "...if this
is CFS, how do I get it?" The Association wrote to correct Goodman, but the editorial was reprinted in
many local papers. Member Ann Doscher's letter to the editor of her local paper in California was printed.
She offered that "If Goodman wants to get CFS, I'll gladly give her mine. Free."
July 19, Sports
Illustrated post-Cup coverage noted the toll Michelle's illness has taken on her game, forcing her
to move from forward to defensive midfielder.
August 8, Florida Magazine article titled
"Michelle's lessons" describes the inspiration her battle with CFIDS has provided for journalist Lisa
Carden, who wrote "...for people who suffer in its grip, even getting out of bed in the morning is a challenge."
June, American Health. A table titled "7 Difficult to
Diagnose Diseases" lists CFIDS and the Association's toll-free number.
Thanks to those who have been working with the media to increase awareness of CFIDS. 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.