The big news (apart from the election, of course) is that Carol Head and Dr. Zaher Nahle of the Solve ME/CFS Initiative had a brief meeting with Dr. Francis Collins, Director of NIH. SMCI reported:
Dr. Collins could not offer insight as to the future of his position at the NIH but agreed that the vital progress ME/CFS has made thus far must be protected and bolstered. Dr. Collins acknowledged the past disservice and delay in regard to ME/CFS and committed to continue to support progress moving forward.
And that is the big question. Will Dr. Collins continue as Director? This would certainly be to our advantage since he has promised to support ME research. Or will a new Director come in, along with the new administration? That would mean we go back to square -1, having to build our case and convince a new (possibly less receptive) audience.
In a time of great uncertainty, we must press forward. We cannot lose a single minute or waste a single opportunity. After all, HIV/AIDS activists succeeded in transforming the landscape of federal policy and funding on that disease during the Reagan administration. President Reagan was seven years in to his term of office when he finally gave a speech on AIDS. If the HIV/AIDS activists were able to change the political calculus on that crisis, then surely we can continue to make progress in this one.
Here are the current cumulative numbers:
|FY 2017||FY 2016|
|RFAs for ME/CFS||ZERO||ZERO|
And here is the table for FY 2017 alone.
|Week Beginning||RFAs Issued||Total Commitment||RFAs for ME/CFS|
If you want more background on the RFA Ticker, read the inaugural post.