By David Tuller, DrPH.
Last summer, the US Centers for Disease Control removed graded exercise therapy and cognitive behavior therapy from its website as recommendations for treatment of the illness it was by then calling ME/CFS. Its stated explanation for the change–that readers had misunderstood the recommendations–was nonsense. Readers understood all too well what the agency meant by GET and CBT. The CDC’s related claim—that these were just generic disease management strategies and had nothing at all to do with PACE—was equally ridiculous. (The agency had previously removed references to the PACE trial while leaving the CBT/GET recommendations in place.)
Since then, the CDC has been promising to introduce a new section on information for healthcare providers. Earlier this month, after various consultations with stakeholders and a significant delay, it unveiled the long-promised section. Agency officials could have used the moment to do what they should have done way back: acknowledge the self-evident flaws of the PACE trial and apologize for the CDC’s central role in promoting the debunked claims of the CBT/GET ideological brigades. They didn’t, of course.
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