That's some good investigative journalism there, Robyn. I have never been able to put together why the government allowed WPI to have that grant. I do have some ideas I won't mention. What I noticed was:
1) Judy was arrested and put in jail by the Whittemores and their judge buddy over intellectual property that did not exist.
2) The Whittemores were indicted for crimes and lying to the FBI, yet the WPI was given the NIH grant.
3) Judy was released from jail at the hand of Dr. Lipkin and went on to do a study that showed xmrv to be contamination (from Silverman).
4)The Science study and Alter and Lo study were removed from print, yet other studies were allowed to remain.
5) All real research into the causative agent of ME has been shut down and the patients have been demoralized once again.
Now, what are the chances of all these happening at one time by mere chance? How could you not see orchestration and de-discovery from the start to the end.
My view is the Whittemores thought they had intellectual property that they thought might still be valuable i.e. the XMRV patients. I think they also simply acted as arrogant elites that wanted to destroy an employee that they felt had hadn't been an obedient little person, crossed them and needed to be taught a lesson. Not convinced it was a government ordered destruction of Judy's reputation.
The government grant award, I'd admit, is a mystery, considering it the sh*tstorm that blew up round the Whittemores. Perhaps they still had a few friends still in government and pulled some strings. Or perhaps these decisions, and changing them once the decision has been all but made, is a bit like trying to turn round an oil tanker. Perhaps it was still awarded through inertia.
In the Discovery mag article, Judy still thinks a retrovirus is involved. Would she be allowed to say that if she's obeying orders in return for debilitating her reputation? I don't think so. She's enthusiastically endorsed the Lipkin study results, unequivocally. She doesn't seem under any duress. Unless people think she's suffering some sort of Stockholm Syndrome under Lipkin's spell.
I've said it before, and although I've occasionally had my doubts, my gut feeling is Lipkin's a good guy, honest scientist and truth seeker. I think he stuck his neck out to help Judy when he didn't really have to, which was honourable of him. The Whittemores had made her name mud, so anything she said would have just been ignored. They didn't have to sign her up to any conspiracy, IMO. So yeah, Lipkin does some work for the US government, but that doesn't mean they own him. One of his big concerns seems to be stopping a global pandemic of something like SARS, so he's kind of going to need to be involved with government for that sort of thing.
I think the cohort of the study stuck to pretty strict criteria and is good, and the blood samples should turn out to a valuable resource. I like them to be partly used to try and identify a reliable biomarker.
I don't think there's a massive conspiracy by the governments of the world to keep us sick. It just doesn't make sense to me. Governments like you to be a model citizen, working your 9 to 5 and paying them lots of nice tax money. If there is a massive conspiracy, it really must be to cover something up something massive and horrendous, if it involves keeping millions from living normal lives and doing that. It's possible, but I'm not convinced. But it certainly makes for more seductive theory than the fact that we might have immune systems that have genetic weaknesses and we're the victims of a series of events that have sent them haywire, or a natural virus/viruses that's exploiting those weaknesses.
In my view, when it comes to the world's governments, we're more likely we're the victims of prejudice, inaction and incompetence and some sociopaths in government, medicine and insurance making personal profit from keeping us sick. e.g. Reeves might well have been just a prejudiced man who was promoted above his talents, or perhaps making some side cash out of keeping things as they were.