A little over a year ago, reporters from Reuters began investigating and writing of the lead problems in the private-public venture (PPV) military housing at bases across the country. To their surprise, it wasn’t so much the lead in the housing that concerned the most families. It was the mold and the retaliation experienced when the families complained of being sickened from the moldy military housing. One may read the series of Reuters articles at the link “Ambushed at Home”.
With the media spotlight once again shining on legislative lack of effective oversight of a government agency (this time it’s the Department of Defense and the DOD’s lack of oversight of the private sector military housing landlords and their contractors) the good senators jumped on the opportunity to hold public hearings about the problem. Some have professed to be utterly shocked to learn how bad the problem really is and have vowed to work with the DOD to provide better oversight to correct it. One may watch their public hearings on the subject HERE and HERE.
What they also did was direct the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to investigate where the problems with the landlords and the services provided could be stopped by better oversight of and by the DOD. The GAO report is soon to be publicly released. The Senate Arms Services Committee is scheduled to hold yet another public hearing on the matter on December 3, 2019.
They have titled the upcoming hearing “Government Accountability Office on Privatized Housing Findings to Include Responses from the Military Services on Ongoing Reports of Substandard Housing Conditions and Services”. Those scheduled to testify and to answer the senators’ questions are Ms. Elizabeth Field of the GAO and several leaders of the United States military. One may view the Dec 3rd meeting agenda HERE.
It is highly unlikely at best, that the senators have no idea about the deeply seated lies of the health effects of mold; and how this big lie has been harming the military families and thousands of others for many years.
Anyone who has been involved in the mold issue for very long, knows that it is not plausible that the good senators are just now becoming aware of the problems caused by indoor mold and the fraud in the military housing issue. I have been making trips to DC since 2004 to ask the good senators to stop the fraud in the mold issue. Several others, such as the late Mary Mulvey Jacobson, have been going to DC seeking help to stop it even longer than I have.
My departed friend, Mary, was a fine Irish woman from Boston. In 2006, she and I got close to shutting down the science fraud in the mold issue by causing a GAO audit to be ordered by the late Senator Edward Kennedy. At the time he was ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee (Senate HELP). That final 2008 GAO audit report was titled “Indoor Mold: Better Coordination of Research on Health Effects and More Consistent Guidance Would Improve Federal Efforts” One may read it HERE.
What medical and scientific standards are used in determining the admissibility of evidence of both acute and persistent health consequences resulting from exposure to mold? Which individuals and organizations have promulgated these standards and what, if any, conflicts of interest exist regarding these standards?
This is what has largely caused several of the old tobacco scientists (who morphed into mold experts and high-paid mold litigation expert defense witnesses in the early 2000s) to continue to be enabled to influence federally-backed educational materials that are used to set policies and physician educational materials to this very day. (See 2007 WSJ article about who has been setting the policies based on junk science since 2002 that is used to deny liability for causation of disabilities and deaths from water damaged buildings.)
And so here we are in 2019, eleven years after the last GAO audit report issued of how the federal government mishandles the mold issue, asking the good senators and the GAO again to shut down the fraud and conflicts of interest in the issue, once and for all.
Sadly, early evidence indicates that, once again, the good senators will not stop the miseducation of military physicians. As a result the December 3rd hearing is most likely going to be just another useless taxpayer funded, dog and pony show – where questions which direly need to be asked and answered about the ongoing fraud on the medical side of the mold issue, will not even be asked.
The writing appears to be on the wall. Ms. Field told me in March of this year that the scope of the current GAO audit does not include examining problems in the military physicians’ education. As such, they are going to make the same mistakes they have been making for nearly twenty years. I.e. myopically promote the false concept that all which needs to be done by the United States government is to cause the clean up of the PPV military housing with no questions asked of the life time of illnesses and disabilities that several of the military families will continue to experience forever — from lack of needed medical care.
The military families across the country have the help and support of many of us who have tried to stop the fraud in the mold issue for a long time. They see that us old timers are telling them the truth about the fraud on a daily basis; and they see the impact it is having on their sick families’ lives. They know what questions the good senators need to ask of the GAO and DOD leaders to really shut down the fraud in the PPV military housing disaster; particularly in relation to disabilities caused by mold.
The families are fed up with not being able to obtain proper medical care from the mis-trained military physicians – which helps the PPV landlords, their insurers, and the DOD avoid liability for causation of the families’ building-related environmental illnesses, disabilities and deaths.
Toward the goal of causing the good senators to cause the DOD to shut down the fraud in the military physician education, several individual military housing advocacy groups have put out surveys and/or are making plans to show up in force in DC on the 3rd.
Military Matters Foundation, whose co-founder spoke before the Arms Committee in February of this year, wants the military families to report via survey if they are satisfied with the assistance they have thus far received from their elected U.S. senators; so the senators may understand why the families are still being hurt and the issue direly needs more of their attention.
The Belvoir Housing Advocacy Group out of Virginia in conjunction with Advocates for Healthy Housing out of Mississippi, want the families to report via survey of the diverse and severe symptoms they have experienced after moving into the negligently maintained military housing.
Operation Mission Ready (whose founder won a federal lawsuit by jury trial in 2016 against a PPV landlord for negligent causation of brain injury from moldy military housing) is encouraging all military families who will be attending the Dec 3rd hearing to wear red –as a display of how many are seeing red from the ongoing mistreatment of the military families and the lack of effective legislative oversight which causes it to continue.
Military Housing Advocacy Network, which was instrumental in causing Reuters to begin to write of the lead problem in the PPV housing last year, is still instrumental in helping to cause and shed light on the need for change. Their membership is growing daily.
There are various other groups and individuals who advocate for the military families on local levels at individual military bases. Some also advocate for the health and safety of troops living in substandard barracks (which has nothing to do with the PPV landlords’ negligence. Barrack maintenance and needed health care for barrack-dwellers is overseen by DOD agencies directly)
So…the point of this blog is this: If you are someone who cares about the health and safety of our troops and their families, please call your U.S. senator and tell them to stop avoiding the old elephant in the room; and start asking the GAO and DOD questions about the dishonest litigation defense arguments written into U.S. health policies, practices and physician educational materials.
It is long past time for our nation’s leaders to really provide oversight of this matter and make all of the fraud in the mold issue and the PPV military housing disaster, cease.
Sharon Noonan Kramer
P.S. If one wants to understand how I know so much about the systematic instillation of scientific fraud in physician education and policies over mold-induced illnesses; and how I know that the way it continues is far worse than merely lack of U.S. senators’ oversight; please read the April 2019 Health Impact News article “One Woman’s Relentless Pursuit of the Truth as a Toxic Mold Whistle-blower“.