Johnson ends her article on a positive note. Ian Lipkin, the world-renowned virologist who proved that XMRV was not, indeed, the cause of ME/CFS (or anything else), credited Mikovits with “opening Pandora's box.”
“Right or wrong about this particular virus,” he says, “she deserved credit for awakening interest in CFS.”
Johnson's final words reflect that sentiment. “For a disease that has languished in a kind of political never-never land for at least one human generation, leaving millions profoundly disabled,” she writes, “that is significant progress.”
Whether this awakened interest is sufficient to spur concrete actions, the generation of National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding for research into the disease, changing the CDC's dismissive name, and convincing doctors that patients who suffer from its crippling effects are not just overworked, neurotic women who should have stayed home rather than enter the work force, remains to be seen.