May 12, 2021: ME/CFS Awareness Day

WHEREAS, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) or ME/CFS, is a severe multi-system neuroimmune disease characterized by overwhelming exhaustion, cognitive problems, pain, post-exertional relapse, immune dysfunction, headaches, cardiac symptoms, dizziness, and balance problems. This leaves many ME patients homebound or bedridden for years at a time with as many as 75 percent unable to work; and,


WHEREAS, ME/CFS has been found by the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) to be "a serious, chronic, complex, and systemic disease that frequently and dramatically limits the activities of affected patients;" and,  


WHEREAS, because of stigma and lack of attention from the government as well as research and medical communities, patients struggle to access appropriate medical care and rarely recover due to a lack of treatments and low rates of diagnosis, resulting in loss of hope and thus higher rates of suicide; and,


WHEREAS, according to the U.S. ME/CFS Clinician Coalition, ME/CFS afflicts about 1.5 million Americans, more than 42,000 in Michigan, and 17 million worldwide, at an annual cost to our country of $18-24 billion dollars per year in lost productivity and medical costs; and,


WHEREAS, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, patients post-COVID-19 can develop a post-viral syndrome that is strikingly similar to ME/CFS; and,


WHEREAS, ME/CFS experts conservatively estimate that about 10% of those diagnosed with COVID-19 will develop lingering symptoms that meet the National Academies of Medicine diagnostic criteria for ME/CFS, effectively doubling the prevalence of ME/CFs; and,  


WHEREAS, awareness of ME should lead to increased funding for research and result in better medical care with more accurate diagnoses and appropriate treatments;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim May 12, 2021 as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) Awareness Day in Michigan.