Next online meeting of TBD Working Group is July 8
The next online meeting of the federal Tick-Borne Disease Working Group will be July 8, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time.
The following information is from the Department of Health and Human Services website:
For this meeting, the TBDWG will review the draft 2020 report to the HHS Secretary and Congress and review and approve graphics and images for the report.
The 2020 report will address ongoing tick-borne disease research, including research related to causes, prevention, treatment, surveillance, diagnosis, diagnostics, and interventions for individuals with tick-borne diseases; advances made pursuant to such research; federal activities related to tick-borne diseases; and gaps in tick-borne disease research.
Please register for the virtual meeting. After registering, you will receive an email confirmation with a personalized link to access the webcast on July 8.
Public Comment – Information and Instructions
The public will have an opportunity to present their views to the Working Group during the meeting’s public comment session or by submitting their views in writing. Comments should be pertinent to the meeting discussion.
- Requests to provide verbal public comment must be submitted via email by midnight Wednesday, June 24, ET to email@example.com. In the email Subject line please enter: Verbal Public Comment – July 8 Meeting. You will be provided a call-in number and time to call.
- A total of 60 minutes has been set aside for verbal comments on Wednesday, July 8. Each person will be limited to 3 minutes in order to accommodate as many speakers as possible. If more requests are received than can be accommodated, speakers will be randomly selected.
- Your remarks will be heard over a live webcast and will become part of the archived recording and meeting summary that will be posted on this website.
Written comments (posted on this webpage and accessible to the public):
- Written public comments must be submitted via email by midnight Wednesday, June 24, ETto firstname.lastname@example.org. In the email Subject line please enter: Written Public Comment – July 8 Meeting.
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- We are also unable to include attachments as supporting documentation to your written comments.
This should prove interesting because at the last meeting the subcommittee offered several recommendations, one of which was about treatment guidelines. A true fiasco ensued, over guess what? Yep – chronic Lyme.
“IF the CDC posts any Lyme treatment guidelines, that they include guidelines on persistent Lyme disease.
The recommendation regarding persistent Lyme disease was moved and seconded. Then, for unstated reasons, five panel members abstained from voting. The vote was announced as five abstaining, five yes votes and three no votes.”
Remarks made after the vote made it clear that the abstainers felt they had defeated the measure, because “yes” votes didn’t comprise a majority of panel members. But, oops, guess what? Abstentions don’t count one way or the other. So, the recommendation passed, 5-3.
As that reality sank in, pandemonium broke out. Panelist Scott Commins stoutly announced that he wanted to change his abstaining vote to “no.” He was told that Robert’s Rules of Order don’t allow you to change your vote after the fact.
Things then got very bizarre very fast, with many people talking at once. Some wanted to vote on the original question again. Others didn’t. Some wanted to re-open discussion, others didn’t. It was confusing to the listener at home.
However, the five abstainers sure gave the impression they had been trying to game the system—to gain a “no” vote without having to publicly own up to it. When that ploy didn’t work, they scrambled to recoup their original objective— to deep-six the proposal regarding persistent Lyme disease.
The upcoming meeting should be entertaining.
Unfortunately, lives are at stake. We really don’t want entertainment – we need answers.