A Salisbury, Maryland ABC affiliate reporter, who attempted to get an “on-camera interview” with any Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “Lyme disease expert”, was shunned by the federal health agency, during Lyme Disease Awareness Month.

Black-legged tick
Ixodes scapularis, a Black-legged tick/CDC

Senior News Anchor/Lead Investigative Reporter, Emily Lampa, published the email correspondence back-and-forth with CDC Press Officer, Candice Burns Hoffmann on their news site Saturday (It’s a must read).

In a nutshell, no one was available, including director Dr Tom Frieden, for an on-camera interview and “many of our Lyme disease experts are working on the Zika response or are out of the office this week”.

This drew the ire of Patient Centered Care Advocacy Group President, Bruce Fries:

This is completely unacceptable from an agency responsible for protecting the public ‪‎health, especially during ‪Lyme disease awareness month, when ‪CDC should be publicizing the dangers of tick-borne illnesses and educating the public about prevention. CDC’s refusal to do an interview for a special report by a broadcast affiliate of a tier-one television network, in a hyper-endemic state during peak tick season, is an abdication of its duty to protect the public health from this devastating epidemic that has grown to more than 329,000 new cases a year in the U.S. and costs our economy more than 3.7 billion annually.

This is a breach of duty, shameful and outrageous, and indicative of gross mismanagement within CDC’s program for Lyme disease.

Patient Centered Care Advocacy Group is focused on generating publicity that spotlights discrimination and harm faced by patients with chronic Lyme disease.