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Trial By Error: Reporting on ME/CFS and Related Controversies

$103,283
108%
Raised toward our $95,000 Goal
1,125 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on April 30, at 11:59 PM PDT
Project Owners

Two more days--and the campaign has reached 93% of the goal! Thank you!

October 29, 2020

In the beginning of October, I really didn't know what to expect with this effort, given the mess we find ourselves in. But now I've reached 93 % of the goal, thanks to more than 650 generous donors--thanks!! With two days, here's the link:

https://crowdfund.berkeley.edu/project/22602

 

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(To donate, PLEASE USE THE ABOVE LINK--DO NOT CLICK on the "Read Update" button below that is automatically included in this message. That button will take you to last year's completed campaign--not to the page for donating now.) 

 

Thanks much!--David

Now at 79% of the goal!!--plus my new post on BMJ's retraction of pediatric CBT study

October 27, 2020

In these difficult times, I'm really touched to have reached 79 % of the goal, thanks to almost 600 generous donors, including many of you--thanks!! With four days left in October's campaign, here's the link: https://crowdfund.berkeley.edu/project/22602

 

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BMJ has retracted a bogus study of CBT and music therapy as treatment for chronic fatigue in adolescents after mononucleosis/glandular fever--but it has replaced it with one almost as bad. Here's my post about it: 

https://www.virology.ws/2020/10/27/trial-by-error-bmj-retracts-music-therapy-cbt-study-but/

 

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(To donate, PLEASE USE THE ABOVE LINK--DO NOT CLICK on the "Read Update" button below that is automatically included in this message. That button will take you to last year's completed campaign--not to the page for donating now.) 

 

Thanks much!--David

 

Closing in on 75% of the goal--and BMJ retracts a pediatric study of cognitive behavior therapy!

October 26, 2020

The campaign for Trial by Error has reached 73 % of its goal from more than 551 donors! For those who still would like to donate, here's the link:

https://crowdfund.berkeley.edu/project/22602

 

I really appreciate all the support--Thanks much!--David

 

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Last week, BMJ retracted a pediatric study of CBT plus music therapy--and the well-regarded blog Retraction Watch highlighted my role in pressing the journal to take action: 

https://retractionwatch.com/2020/10/21/bmj-journal-retracts-replaces-study-on-chronic-fatigue-in-children/

 

 

Past 70% of the goal--and today's post on the upcoming draft of the NICE clinical guidelines for ME/CFS

October 25, 2020

The campaign for Trial by Error has reached 71 % of its goal from more than 500 donors. For those who still would like to donate, here's the link:

https://crowdfund.berkeley.edu/project/22602

 

I really appreciate all the support--Thanks much!--David

 

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Today on Virology Blog I wrote about my predictions for the upcoming draft of the revision of the NICE clinical guidelines for ME/CFS, which will be published on November 10th. That’s one of the stories I plan to track going forward. Here it is: 

https://www.virology.ws/2020/10/25/trial-by-error-nices-upcoming-draft-guidance-on-me-cfs/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Week is the 5th Anniversary of October 2015 publication of my 15,000-word PACE investigation!

October 23, 2020

I'm really pleased to have reached two-thirds of my goal for the October crowdfunding, thanks to 469 generous donors, including many of you--thanks! With one week left in the campaign, here's the link: https://crowdfund.berkeley.edu/project/22602

 

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This week is the 5th anniversary of my first Trial by Error report on Virology Blog—a 15,000-word investigation of the PACE trial that piggy-backed on the work of smart patients and advocates. I assumed that investigation was a one-off! 

 

I thought The Lancet would have to address the trial's self-evident flaws and that would be that. Of course they didn’t address the flaws and that wasn’t that. I was really stupid then. It took a while to recognize that the obstacle was not a study but a powerful paradigm. So I kept chipping away at the paradigm.

 

And here I am five years later, still chipping away, and now crowdfunding donations to Berkeley to help support the project from January through June of next year, and doing this during an unfolding global disaster. Whatever the final crowdfunding outcome, I’m looking forward to continuing with my work. 

 

(To donate, please use the above link--DO NOT CLICK on the "Read Update" button below that is automatically included in this message. That button will take you to last year's completed campaign--not to the page for donating now.) 

 

Thanks much!--David

Update on October crowdfunding for Berkeley's Trial By Error project

October 22, 2020

With nine days to go, the crowdfunding campaign has reached 62% of the goal, with more than 400 donors. That's pretty good given what's going on out there right now! Many of you have already donated and as always I'm very touched by the support. 

 

This is the link to the current crowdfunding site:  https://crowdfund.berkeley.edu/project/22602

 

The funding will allow me to continue with the project for the first half of next year as a senior fellow in public health and journalism at Berkeley's Center for Global Public Health. Here are recent developments:

 

*BMJ announced this week that it was retracting a CBT-and-music-therapy study that I had posted about multiple times. Retraction Watch cited my work in its story about the retraction. Because the retraction also functioned as a whitewash of the investigators' missteps, I will follow up with an analysis next week, followed by another letter of concern to the journal.

 

*I posted twice this week on issues arising from the emerging overlaps between ME (CFS, ME/CFS, etc) and the illness now being called '"long-covid." 

 

*It is five years this week since I published the first edition of Trial By Error, a 15,000-word investigation of the PACE trial. I'am writing a post about where things are now and what it means that I'm still doing this after producing what I thought at the time was a one-off.

 

*And other stuff...

 

Please use the above link rather than clicking on the "Read Update" button included in this message. That button will take you to last year's completed campaign--not to the page for donating to this month's. 

 

Thanks much!--David

News about my current crowdfunding for past supporters of Trial By Error

October 12, 2020

Hi, all--

 

Thanks so much for your past support. A worldwide pandemic is a challenging time to seek funding, given the difficulties we all face. Some of you have already donated to Berkeley's October campaign on my behalf. Many others might not yet have seen the notice. I appreciate all gifts, no matter the size. The funding will allow me to continue with the project for the first half of next year as a senior fellow in public health and journalism at Berkeley's Center for Global Public Health.

 

This is the link to the current crowdfunding site:  https://crowdfund.berkeley.edu/project/22602

 

Please use the above link rather than clicking on the "Read Update" button included in this message. That button will take you to last year's completed campaign--not to the page for donating to this month's. 

 

Thanks much!--David

 

Final update for 2019 donors on Trial By Error's 2020 crowdfunding ending Monday night

May 03, 2020

Hi, everyone--The Berkeley crowdfunding campaign ends on Monday at midnight (California time). I am really moved by the support I have received.

 

I have slightly exceeded my goal of $40,000 in donations to Berkeley to support my position at the Center for Global Public Health for the first half of the 2020-2021 academic year--from July through December. The sole responsibility of my position is to pursue this investigation.

 

Any donations beyond the goal will go to cover travel costs for the project and/or to support my position for the second half of the academic year--from January-June, 2021. I will also participate in Berkeley's fall crowdfunding campaign.

 

This is the link to the crowdfunding site:  https://crowdfund.berkeley.edu/project/20159

 

Please use the above link rather than clicking on the "Read Update" button included below in this message. That button will take you to last year's completed campaign--not to the page for this year's. 

 

Thanks much to all!--David

 

Update to my 2019 donors on this month's crowdfunding

April 30, 2020

Hi, all--I have been so touched that so many people have supported my campaign even during these harrowing times. I have now reached 90% of my current crowdfunding goal of $40,000, with four days left. The funding will help to cover the salary and benefits for my position at the Center for Global Public Health at UC Berkeley. The sole responsibility of my position is to pursue this investigation.

 

This is the link to the current crowdfunding site:  https://crowdfund.berkeley.edu/project/20159

 

Please use this link to donate rather than clicking on the "Read Update" button included in this message. That button will take you to last year's completed campaign--not to the page for donating to this year's. 

 

Thanks much!--David

 

 

Oops again!! I sent the wrong link! It's a weird time. Very sorry!!

April 20, 2020

Oops!! I forgot to include the link for the current crowdfunding!!

April 20, 2020

An update on my current crowdfunding--

April 20, 2020

With two weeks to go, I have passed the 50% mark in my current goal of $40,000. The funding will allow me to continue my work from July 1st through December 31st--the first half of Berkeley's 2020-2021 fiscal and academic year. In the last few days, I have written about a post-covid "fatigue" pamphlet from Oxford health authorities that recommends GET and CBT and have renewed my efforts to highlight false claims being made about a web-based CBT program for people with irritable bowel syndrome. I will continue to pursue these and other stories going forward.

 

I would rather fund my work another way, but that has proven difficult. Certainly I would not have chosen this moment to seek financial support. Given the global trauma we are all experiencing, I am very touched by any support people feel they can offer. Thank you.--David 

 

 

This is Berkeley's crowdfunding month--despite the awful timing!

April 12, 2020

I wouldn't ordinarily choose to crowdfund during a global pandemic. But that's the way it is. (Actually, I wouldn't ordinarily choose to fund my work this way at all, but there don't seem to be other good options.) Berkeley decided to shorten but not cancel its standard April crowdfunding effort and to give all the projects another crowdfunding slot in October. So here's the link for the current campaign:

 

https://crowdfund.berkeley.edu/project/20159

 

Thanks much for any support you can offer. --David

 

 

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