from the Lyme Disease website of Elena Cook
Blog post by Elena Cook 10 June 2012
Recently I had the (dis)pleasure of directly confronting Dr. Phillip Baker, in cyberspace, regarding his role in the cover-up of persistence of the agent(s) of Lyme borreliosis in chronically ill patients. Baker, as many will know, was for years in charge of the Lyme desk at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in America.
Well, it seems that Dr. Baker is not just good at multi-tasking (at NIH he simultaneously held the titles of Lyme Disease Programme Officer and Anthrax Programme Officer). He is also very good at passing the buck.
The exchange below took place on a discussion forum set up by Lyme activist Lorraine Johnson following the recent revelation that important evidence of persistence had been covered up for at least twelve years (study by Embers et al).
I asked Baker who would have been responsible for sending a leading Lyme Disease researcher from the Rocky Mountain laboratory to Willy Burgdorfer's house in Colorado to obstruct the film crew responsible for the Under Our Skin documentary from speaking freely with him.
The scientist, who physically blocked the film crew's way at this pre-arranged interview, insisted he had to come in with them, and that they could not discuss 'just anything' with Burgdorfer. Specifically, he said, they could not discuss 'persistence.'
Although he seemed to be unhappy at being asked to carry out this duty, the researcher said the order to chaperone the film crew at the interview had come from the 'highest levels'.
Given that Baker was in charge of Lyme at NIH at the time that interview took place, I asked him just who those 'highest levels' might be? Baker replied that it had nothing to do with him, that he was at the NIH HQ in Bethesda, Maryland at the time, not in Colorado, and that in any case it was the Office of Information that dealt with the media, not the Lyme Programme Officer.
In fact, there was no reason for any officer at NIH to get involved, as Burgdorfer was not working for NIH at the time: he had retired years previously.
Baker suggested I 'go and ask Burgdorfer'. For a man who was, not that long ago, responsible for the whole country's Lyme research programme, and who today is head of the American Lyme Disease Foundation (ersatz patients' campaign set up by the Steere camp, which has no patients behind it), Baker seems distinctly uninterested in finding out just who it was at the 'highest levels' who had tried to prevent Willy Burgdorfer from talking to a film crew about persistent infection.
Of course the Office of Information at NIH may not be pleased with Baker's buck-passing explanation. However, I must say that Baker is not as good at inventing excuses as he is at passing the buck. His claim that he could not possibly have had anything to do with the attempt to censor Burgdorfer because he himself was in Maryland at the time, rings somewhat hollow.
Come now, Dr. Baker, surely a top scientist like you is aware of a little device called a telephone?
Once the Under Our Skin team had pushed the reluctant government envoy out of the way, they found that Willy Burgdorfer, the famous 'discoverer of the causative agent of Lyme', certainly was ready to admit to its persistence.
I don't think I will be taking Baker up on his suggestion to ask Burgdorfer anytime soon, though. Willy has made his position clear. He waited till the Under Our Skin team's cameras had stopped rolling before declaring:
'I haven't told you everything.'
It's very sad that while biological warfare scientists like Baker and Burgdorfer keep secrets, the brains and bodies of children and adults all over the world are being ravaged by a ruthless, persistent and ultimately devastating infection.
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