Inspector General Confirms Allegations of Financial Mismanagement at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
CFIDS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA OUTRAGED AT THE AGENCY'S INDIFFERENCE TO CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME PATIENTS AND THE AMERICAN TAXPAYER
WASHINGTON DC - The Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS) Association of America, Inc. today expressed its outrage at the results of an Inspector General's audit of costs charged to the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The findings confirm the organization's worst suspicions that money appropriated by Congress for research into CFS had been diverted into other areas and officials at CDC had attempted to cover up the diversion.
"The findings included in the Inspector General's report come as no surprise to us," said Kim Kenney, CFIDS Executive Director. "We have suspected for quite some time that the funds we fought so hard for on Capitol Hill never made it to CFS research labs. This is a betrayal of trust -- in medicine and government. Patients and their families are terribly angry at the CDC and demand action from the government.
According to the report, during fiscal years 1995 through 1998, the CDC "…spent significant portions of CFS funds on the costs of other programs and activities unrelated to CFS and failed to adequately document the relevance of other costs charged to the CFS program."
THE INSPECTOR GENERAL CONCLUDED THAT 57% OF THE MONEY APPROPRIATED FOR CFS RESEARCH WAS SPENT ELSEWHERE.
The report goes on to say "…CDC officials provided inaccurate information to Congress regarding the use of CFS funds and have not supported the CFS program to the extent recommended and encouraged by Congress."
"Where is the trust? Where is the accountability? We were promised science, research and a high level of commitment to fighting this disorder," added Kenney. "CDC officials went to Capitol Hill and lied to
Members of Congress. Those were taxpayer dollars, not some CDC piggybank."
CFS is defined as a debilitating and complex disorder characterized by profound fatigue that is not improved by bed rest and that may by worsened by physical or mental activity. Persons with CFS often function at a substantially lower level of activity than they were capable of before the onset of the illness. CDC estimates more than 500,000 Americans are suffering from CFS today.
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