I got a valentine and a newsletter from the WPI, proving yet again that their PR people are brain dead. Here is one patient’s response to her valentine, now making the rounds anonymously, since who wants to poke fun at organized crime and take credit for it:
Clearly demonstrating the need for comic relief in the midst of unrelenting insanity, this is from my email: “The theme of the next fundraiser should be I Hope You Dance In Shackles. Dress code is orange jumpsuits.” That’s what the community thinks of the institute that the NIH has decided to keep funding.
And where is the money coming from to pay those PR people, now that patient donations have no doubt dried up? It would appear the WPI has successfully pulled off a bait and switch and will keep the grants without a PI. The scientist who wrote the grants, the institute’s only real asset, has been tarred and feathered by the “Whittemore machine”, as one paper put it, and a judicial system that they appear to be manipulating. There is accumulating evidence in the public domain that the CEO of the WPI is a liar and a fraud. Witness her performance on Nevada Newsmakers, after she knew the results of the BWG, where she still advertised XMRV testing, saying it only needed to be refined. The new PI has essentially no scientific credits to his name. Search Lombardi VC on PubMed and what comes up? He has never been a senior author on a paper. Besides his work at the WPI under Mikovits, now largely retracted, he was a junior author on two unrelated papers when he was a graduate student. The institute has no publications to its name that weren’t written by Mikovits. The grantors must be as brain dead as the grantees. Or there is pull involved.
It made me sick to read the newsletter. Over the top propaganda, but there will be people taken in by it, even though it is so blatant as to appear written intentionally to fool the simpleminded. WPI’s top 10 contributions…
#1 is a joke. The “Center for Translational Medicine” is fairy dust. There is no science happening there to translate. There is an endocrinologist and a nice doctor I declined to hire, who uses HMD after his name (Homeopathic Medicine Doctor), and who says he can “resolve” autoimmune disease and “cure” allergies on his website. So far, true to form, the most common thing I’ve heard from patients about the “clinic” is that they don’t answer their phone. Sounds like the same old same old to me.
#2 through 5 are the fruits of the labors of their now denounced ex-PI. #6 is somebody else’s work. #7 and 8 are true, they walked a mile and gave Dr. Lipkin a lecture hall for a couple of hours last summer. #9 is an outrage since at least two of the three have openly withdrawn their support for the WPI. It is an insult to the scientists they are attempting to use. Name dropping. And #10, wow, you’d think they’d be ashamed to list contest money without telling those who toiled away what happened to it. Prove to us that it didn’t go to lawyers so that you could scapegoat your best friend for your own failings. @@.
But the WPI is getting the money anyway. Even as politicians from Harry Reid on down give away anything they got directly or indirectly from a Whittemore as quickly as possible. Yet the government still intends to send them a big chunk of the entire federal budget for our disease for the next three years, and if you believe their newsletter, Gulf War Illness too. The only information I could find on the internet, still lists Dr. Mikovits as the principal investigator (at the WPI).
How blatant does it have to be? There is nothing of substance there. A strikingly untalented PhD, one experienced lab tech and a Russian trained doctor who can only work in this country as a tech, because the US doesn’t recognize her training, known as “the magic eye”. Since it seems they can’t rely on science, apparently magic is needed..
Where did all that money go? The grant money, the patient donations, large sums of money from a private investor mentioned to me. It is true that there are a large number of salaries still to be paid; nineteen was the number Annette gave Dr. Lipkin in June at dinner, now minus Judy, Max, who has moved on, and me. So sixteen people unless there are more now. That’s a lot of payroll to keep three people working in a lab, Vinnie, a tech and the magic eye. For that, PR people, personal assistant, lots and lots of poorly designed space. By the way, the final straw in my being fired for saying what I thought, was my use of the word “nepotism” in a text to Harvey. In addition to the fact that my actually being determined to open a real department fit for an academic institution was becoming something of a nuisance. I’ve wondered if they didn’t hire me thinking I was too sick to make trouble.
Vinnie and the magic eye worked at VIP Dx. My understanding was that Vinnie was an owner of VIP Dx. Money was very short, so what did they do? My guess is they decided to jettison the research lab in favor of the commercial lab. Less people to pay. Bait and switch. Protect the investment.
What has the WPI accomplished, other than destroying the career of the only real scientist there, while burning through money like it was jet fuel? It was Dr. Mikovits that brought recognition to our disease. The Whittemore’s have brought only notoriety. And they are continuing to hurt the patient community by diverting funds that could be used productively to help us. The people who collude with such diversion are suspect in my mind. The Whittemore’s have been allowed to manipulate the justice system in order to muzzle the person who knows the most about what actually happened. She is prevented from telling her side of the story by the threat of jail. For “stealing” her own notebooks. How convenient for them.
While the scientist who did the work is blamed for everything under the sun, the patient community holds its collective breath awaiting the results of the Lipkin study, now a reparative effort, since Dr. Mikovits has been deprived of her lab. How can the people who did that even suggest that they are our friends. With friends like that…
Millions and millions down the drain. Why is there no accountability? Why is the FBI investigating political contributions, but not worried about misappropriation of government funds? Why is the FDA ignoring the lab?
It makes me really sad that what’s left to do is work against a negative, after all the hope we had, but it was false hope and what’s left is a sham, diverting funds that could be spent to help us. The patient community needs to object, and loudly.
Today’s song: Money by Pink Floyd