"As the scientific establishment and mainstream media begin to take the issue of 'Chronic Fatigue Syndrome' or 'Myalgic Encephalomyelitis' more seriously, it is important not to forget the publisher and editor who, from 1988-1997, devoted his newspaper to bringing the issue out of the closet. Charles Ortleb's compelling history of his newspaper and the work of his pioneering CFS reporter, Neenyah Ostrom, is a must-read for anyone who wants to know the whole disturbing story of an epidemic hidden in plain sight."
"Charles Ortleb, as editor-in-chief and publisher of the New York Native, was and remains the Izzy Stone of science reporting. He was fearless in his pursuit of the origins of the AIDS epidemic and the government's response in the 1980s. When his newspaper began to diverge from the dogmatic mainstream, however, he was ostracized by the very people he was seeking to inform. In addition, his laser-like focus in the Native on the simultaneous emergence of so-called "chronic fatigue syndrome"--a topic to which he assigned a full-time reporter, Neenyah Ostrom--was laudable. These disorders remain too much alike to arbitrarily submerge one in favor of the other, as the government has done without blinking for thirty years. Ortleb took considerable risks to profitability by pursuing every avenue of investigation on these matters. Yet, as much as Ortleb was criticized, the Native was also a "must read" of its time. When I was reporting my own book on the latter disease, I frequently spied the Native on the desks of high level scientists at the National Institutes of Health. As much as he made them uncomfortable, everyone in the AIDS research establishment wanted to know what Ortleb was going to report next. Ortleb's caustic humor and piercing analysis of what he has dubbed "political epidemiology," and "homodemiology" by the Centers for Disease Control alone makes The Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Epidemic Cover-up worth the read. But the history he recounts here is crucial reading for anyone who missed the Native in its heyday or who didn't "get it" the first time around. Given the recent rise of infectious disease alarms around the world, The Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Epidemic Cover-up is, additionally, remarkably timely for those who seek to understand what drives the American public health establishment in times of crises. A rollicking, fascinating and important memoir."
--Hillary Johnson, author of Osler's Web, Inside the Labyrinth of the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Epidemic
"Charles Ortleb and the New York Native which he so brilliantly led was the absolutely indispensable source for all information--medical, political, personal--in the first five years of the AIDS epidemic when the major media in this country as well as the medical establishment tried so hard to avoid the topic. Not since I.F. Stone have we seen how important individual investigative journalism could be in breaking through society's silence, when silence indeed equaled death. It is good to finally have the Native's heroic work put on the historical record for all to see."
--Michael Denneny, author of Decent Passions and Lovers: The Story of Two Men
If you want to know the truth about the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome epidemic, you need to discover the brilliant investigative work Neenyah Ostrom did for a decade. Starting in 1988, Ostrom reported on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for a newspaper called New York Native. What her reporting uncovered about the true nature of the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome epidemic will shock you.
In The Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Epidemic Cover-up, Charles Ortleb recounts his newspaper's struggle to get the media and the mainstream medical establishment to pay attention to Ostrom's pioneering investigative reporting on the science and politics of the devastating Chronic Fatigue Syndrome epidemic.
By the time you finish Ortleb's stunning memoir, you will understand why the Centers for Disease Control has been unwilling to tell the public the truth about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The CDC does not want the public to know that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a transmissible illness linked to a virus called HHV-6 that affects every system in the body. They have covered up the illness for so many decades that the neglected virus is totally out of control. Now it is causing a long list of other illnesses and many cancers.
Nobody in the world covered the emergence of HHV-6 and its link to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome more than Neenyah Ostrom. Ostrom's decade of reporting on HHV-6 was recently vindicated by this statement from scientists at the University of Wurzburg: "While HHV-6 was long believed to have no negative impact on human health, scientists today increasingly suspect the virus of causing various diseases such as multiple sclerosis or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Recent studies even suggest that HHV-6 might play a role in the pathogenesis of several diseases of the central nervous system such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression or Alzheimer's."
The big question about Neenyah Ostrom and New York Native is this: How many lives would have been saved if the scientific establishment and the mainstream media had paid more attention to Neenyah Ostrom's reporting on HHV-6 and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in New York Native?
One day, if there is any justice in the world, the CDC and the medical establishment will apologize for not paying attention to Neenyah Ostrom's groundbreaking work on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome that Charles Ortleb published in New York Native. That would be a fitting end to one of journalism's greatest David and Goliath stories.