The Closing Argument
A 2-hour audio book that brings the racial and sexual politics of the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome epidemic out of the closet.
Listen to The Closing Argument now on Amazon and at Audible
This bold, uncompromising book is the Uncle Tom's Cabin of the AIDS and chronic fatigue syndrome epidemics. It's one of those books that will inspire you to think outside of the box. Destined to be a controversial independent film, The Closing Argument is a provocative courtroom novella about an African-American man who is tried in Connecticut for the crime of infecting a woman with HIV, the virus that the American government has declared the official cause of AIDS. In a move that shocks the nation, his attorney puts the government and the AIDS establishment on trial and tries to convince the jury that everything the public has been told about the nature of the AIDS and CFS epidemics is both racist and homophobic. The author makes you the jury and you have to decide from the attorney's closing argument if you can believe anything you've been told about AIDS, chronic fatigue syndrome, HIV and HHV-6. This is the first work of fiction in history to focus on the cover-up of the devastating virus HHV-6 which has now been linked to many diseases in addition to AIDS and chronic fatigue syndrome. Nicholas Regush, former producer at ABC News called the book "Eye-popping reading if you dare to expand your scope of thinking about AIDS and justice."
From 1980 until 1997, Charles Ortleb was the publisher and editor-in-chief of New York Native which Wikipedia describes as "the only gay paper in New York during the early part of the AIDS epidemic" which "pioneered reporting on the AIDS epidemic when others ignored it." On May 18, 1981, New York Native published the world's very first report on the disease that would become known as AIDS. In his book, And the Band Played On, Randy Shilts described the New York Native coverage of the epidemic as being "singularly thorough" and "voluminous." In Rolling Stone, David Black said that New York Native deserved a Pulitzer prize for its AIDS coverage. In an interview in New York Press, Nicholas Regush, a producer for ABC News and a reporter for Montreal Gazette, said that New York Native did "an astounding job" in its coverage of AIDS and credited it with "educating him early on." In a profile titled "The Outsider" in Rolling Stone in 1988, Katie Leishman wrote that "It is undeniable that many major AIDS stories were Ortleb's months and sometimes years before mainstream journalists took them up. Behind the scenes he exercises an enormous unacknowledged influence on the coverage of the medical story of the century."
In addition to pioneering the coverage of AIDS, New York Native was the only publication in the world to have a reporter, Neenyah Ostrom, who provided weekly coverage of the emergence of the epidemic of chronic fatigue syndrome and its scientific and political relationship to AIDS. Hillary Johnson, in her groundbreaking history of chronic fatigue syndrome, Osler's Web, wrote that "Ortleb, in fact, increasingly suspected the AIDS outbreak was merely a modest subset of the more pervasive, immune-damaging epidemic disease claiming heterosexuals--chronic fatigue syndrome." The breaking news about chronic fatigue syndrome and HHV-6 these days seems to suggest that much of New York Native's controversial take on the relationship between AIDS, chronic fatigue syndrome and HHV-6 is being vindicated.