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Response- Attempted Rebirth of the Original Fake News

The Attempted Rebirth of the Original “Fake News"

When licensed doctors take an oath to first do no harm, their deliberate actions from that point forward should at least attempt to reflect that honorable pledge. 

Instead, a handful of disgruntled so-called professionals have chosen to attack the very people they are responsible for healing and protecting, as well as anything related to, or that may benefit these patients, including anyone daring to assist them on their wellness journey. 

Countless articles published over the past two decades have shamefully targeted Lyme patients, volunteer patient advocates, organizations, labs and experienced doctors attempting to treat chronically ill and disabled Lyme patients when the standard treatment fails to cure them. 

Most of these derogatory articles were written by the same handful of Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble types who quickly appointed themselves in charge of the upcoming and profitable Lyme disease epidemic from its inception, and who have been panning for gold at the expense of patients ever since. 

The latest hammering of Lyme patients comes from three of most persistent, patient-hating offenders: Gary Wormser, a discredited IDSA Lyme Guideline author from NY Medical College, Eugene Shapiro who still hangs his hat at Yale, and the former Lyme grantor from NIH who joined in their vile attacks the moment he retired, Phil Baker of the American Lyme Disease Foundation (ALDF)- an astroturf patient support group in bed with the Infectious Diseases Society of America.  

Their most recent attempt at producing an article, titled “False and Misleading Information about Lyme disease”, isn’t original or even well-written.  It simply brings their mouth fulls of cyclic muttering to the attention of a different audience with hopes they will lure hordes of unsuspecting cohorts into joining them on their version of the Titanic.

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The 3 blind mice begin their mind-numbing article by recycling their egregiously fictitious claim that Lyme patients who continue to have pain, fatigue and other Lyme related symptoms after short-term treatment fails to cure them are simply part of the general population that also experiences fatigue and pain as a part of everyday life.  They insist suffering patients should receive no additional treatment.  Even taking a simple vitamin is unacceptable in their eyes and is recommended against in their long-standing publications.

For this latest article the trio of authors echoed their original bogus statements from their highly contested, insurance friendly 2006 Lyme treatment guidelines that stated, “In many patients, posttreatment symptoms appear to be more related to the aches and pains of daily living rather than to either Lyme disease or a tickborne coinfection. Put simply, there is a relatively high frequency of the same kinds of symptoms in “healthy” people.” 

Anyone who has experienced either acute or chronic Lyme disease knows full well their suffering was much worse when they were actively infected than it was during their typical pre-Lyme days.  They all can’t be faking it, and to claim otherwise is shameful and plain old crazy.  

Repetitive claim #2 was directed at the few experienced doctors who are often overwhelmed trying to keep up with the growing number of desperately sick Lyme patients. The article’s authors and their comrades have disregarded, tossed aside and tried unsuccessfully to stifle these doctors and their patients so as to not expose their own whopping failures over the years.

However, these Three Stooges don’t seem to appreciate the fact doctors in the field doing the real work and who are unraveling the mysteries aren’t using the old dime-a-dozen Lyme tests for very good reasons, even though this practice, as gallant and helpful as it is for patients and doctors, has the ability to diminish the Stooges and friend's bank accounts.   

<< Perhaps the Three Stooges, who continue supporting the faulty, but profitable tests have forgotten or don't care that their preferred tests were proven to miss 75% or more of those who are infected and have worse odds of detecting an infection than “flipping a coin”.

Genuine Lyme treating doctors (who don’t put profits above patient care) have been utilizing higher quality accredited licensed labs and tests supported by a plethora of unbiased scientific data and clinical observations to assist in diagnosing their patients because these tests are, very simply put, more reliable.

It’s no surprise patients actually prefer using higher quality tests to assist with their diagnosis when it's their lives and futures at stake.  However, the “fake news” authors still don’t like it and refer to the better tests as “fake” because, and again no surprise, the growing use of alternative tests and labs are cutting into their profits.  No more monopoly have they.  

In order to appear to have a smidgen of credibility about dictating what labs and tests patients should use, the three toads promote their own scientific papers (published by themselves and their like-minded colleagues)- and only the ones that support their view points.  No conflicting science, no matter how advanced or accurate it may be, is allowed.  

In fact, as new scientific papers are published you can be assured that within a few months the trio or their buddies will publish a paper focused on refuting the findings of researchers that don't tow the line.   

And it's not just their profits over patients policy that is concerning.  Their favorite recommended tests are the same ones they originally used to support their years of failed research, their failed vaccine, their failed treatment protocols and their failed treatment guidelines.  And the dastardly duo plus one continue to recommend all of these proven failures at the expense of patients.

Another point that appears to have recently rattled ugly's cage and prompted this latest attack is the age-old question about sexual transmission.  This topic has been a sincere concern for countless patients and physicians given the fact Lyme disease is caused by the same type of organism responsible for syphilis- a spirochete- and once one partner is infected the other one can come down with the infection without experiencing a known tick exposure.


The spiteful author trio, ignoring the sexy elephant in the room, pretend to be flabbergasted that others finally did the work necessary to provide answers and proclaim loudly, with their latest slurs firmly attached, “False and misleading information about Lyme disease is not restricted to fake diagnoses, fake diagnostic tests or fake laboratory research. One astounding claim is that Lyme disease is sexually transmitted.”     


The IDSA Lyme disease guideline authors, for which Wormser was lead author and Shapiro a coauthor, along with their supporters like Phil Baker, have repeatedly asserted Lyme disease isn’t sexually transmitted. PERIOD.  If asked why, the standard 'brush-off' reply is they haven’t performed the necessary studies to prove that it can be sexually transmitted.  HUH?  


That unbelievable and truly scary unscientific conclusion has been floating around in Baker, Shapiro and Wormser's little world for at least thirty years, yet they’ve never bothered to initiate or call for studies to find answers to quench the publics growing concerns. 

In the meantime, individual doctors and researchers in the USA who care for thousands of Lyme patients, and most recently an international group of doctors and scientists, found spirochetes in both male and female secretions, sexual organs, blood and tissues.  This begs the question- how many more innocent people will be infected before the 'Kings of No Real Science' notoriety will eventually do something constructive to prove or disprove the established science?  Or do they just plan to keep adding this self-generated ‘sore spot’ to their fake list of complaints against patients and whine about it for another couple of decades? 


Patients who are concerned about passing the infection to their partner and their treating doctors have requested scientific studies to conclusively prove Lyme can’t be sexually transmitted- with no response.  As a result, for years patients have been advised to take the same precautions they would to prevent any sexually transmitted disease.  Looking back, this was an extremely wise move for Lyme treating doctors to make.  Their suspicions that Lyme could be sexually transmitted were correct.  


After having sucked down the majority of research funds for useless projects like this unscientific "fake news" article that has no supporting evidence ($8,000 more in grant funding from NIH- aka your tax dollars- down the drain), the trio certainly had the opportunity to find answers for this burning question.  So why didn’t they?  Were they afraid a sexual transmission study would have proven them wrong again?  Who benefits from hiding the truth in this case? 


And that isn’t all the old dribblers brought to the forefront in their latest published catalog of complaints against patients who fail to recover after they were treated with a handful of cheap antibiotics.  

Taking full advantage of the recent “fake news” frenzy, the bad boys of the Lyme world added their two-cents claiming the “news media sensationalizes controversial aspects of patients’ stories that they consider “newsworthy” under the guise of increasing “Lyme awareness”.  Should news stories about Lyme disease be censored?  


It's unbelievable the trio currently advocates shifting blame for their own miserable failures to news outlets who have thankfully helped millions of readers become educated about an infectious disease that affects over 300,000 people a year in the USA.


But, the 'disgruntled few' continue kicking the media stating: “Media- sponsored public discussions often use a format based on “false equivalency” in which emotional arguments and unproven opinions are given the same weight as the results of rigorous, evidence- based scientific research…”  

Will someone kindly tell these clowns that their biased, heavily manipulated 'evidenced-based' opinions are not coinciding with the truth and what is actually happening in the real world?  They don't seem to 'get it'.


To support the trios delusional conclusions they offer links to the only two websites touting their outdated, unproven theories.  They warn readers that other sites, ones which they have no control over, only “provide misinformation”.  It's the old- 'I'm right and everyone else in the world is wrong' approach, but it doesn't seem to impress sick patients or medical professionals.  Not at all.  

This lame tactic is reminiscent of their frenzied, last minute attempts to censor those airing a multi-award winning documentary film about Lyme disease, Under Our Skin.  It appears these 'fake news copy-cat authors' will go to any lengths to stop patients from exposing the problems they are experiencing, even if it means barreling down our Constitution in the process.


Culpability for the trios extreme displeasure with the media quickly turns its focus on, what else? The hot topic of the year- politicians!  They now sing in unison, “politicians are attempting to displace mainstream physicians as diagnosticians in the complex world of Lyme disease by passing legislation … that requires health insurance companies to pay…”.    


True, the practice of treating Lyme as the infectious disease it is and treating it until the patient actually recovers could be a disaster if you are an insurer who is raking in excessive premiums with profits in the millions rather than billions.  

However, it is doubtful that children all over the world who are dreadfully ill and who are missing school for months to years at a time due to their crippling Lyme symptoms, well yes, it's doubtful those innocent children are really putting much stock in that particular financial concern.    


Seeming rather heart-broken about legislators stepping in to assist patients who have little ability or strength to fight for themselves, in their article they fabricated they contend that interference by politicians makes it “difficult for medical review boards” to go after and discipline those not following the trio’s self-generated "fake" rules.  These arbitrary rules are the same rules that allowed patients to become chronically ill and disabled in the first place, and the same rules that have doctors world wide scrambling to repair the damage left in the their wake.  

Perhaps Baker, Wormser and Shapiro should be told once and for all, loudly and clearly... if Camp A were right, there wouldn't be a Camp B.  


And a big boo-hoo was sighed (pass the Kleenex please) because their favorite hobby of testifying against (ambushing) chronically ill Lyme patients and their treating doctors in legal cases has been somewhat curtailed by pro-active politicians who were elected to office by their constituents, many who now have Lyme disease themselves.


The stooges final non-sensical blow was to try to shift blame to innocent patients for the general rise in health care costs.  They blame politicians for reaching out to help Lyme patients and states the politicians interference “increases the cost of health care without tangible benefits.” 


The truth is, the science supports and common sense dictates that not properly diagnosing and effectively treating people with Lyme disease in the early stages is what increases the cost of health care.  

This trios personal mantra, even after 35 years of failing to provide successful tests, vaccines and treatments and causing international mayhem in an otherwise healthy population, continues to be- there is no such thing as "chronic Lyme disease".  


The good news is that another desperate attempt by the Three Stooges to diminish and discredit patient, doctors and the most accurate science on Lyme and tick borne diseases has failed.  People just don't believe the trio's outlandish opinions anymore.  Even their continual roughing up of patients and bullying everyone they can is no longer effective. 

But, the paper their article is printed on can be recycled and used most wisely to line the bottom of a bird cage.  Fortunately, their ranting and blubbering is a non-issue when their own "fake news paper" is locked in the bottom of a bird cage.  Birds can’t read.


Lucy Barnes

February 2017

Shapiro, Baker and Wormser's original article- it is here.


Eugene Shapiro's Articles 

Gary Wormser's Articles

Phil Baby Baker's Articles

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