Nearly four months after his death, and a couple of months after the “final” autopsy report was released, Gos Blank’s wife, Lisa, receive additional information in the form of a letter with the subject: “Supplemental Final Diagnoses”. According to this update, dated February 11, 2014, a stain revealed the “presence of multiple cup and/or boat shaped fungal cysts located within foamy amorphous matériai within the alveolar spaces which were characteristic of Pneumocystis jirovecii microorganisms. These microorganisms were formerly known as Pneumocystis carinii.”
The supplement has been appended to the original “final autopsy” here.
In my previous report on Gos, based on his hospital records and the original “final” autopsy report, I asserted that Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center had been presumptively treating Gos for the wrong infection—pneumocystis jirovecii (PCP)—while failing to identify and treat cytomegalovirus (CMV). I would not have done that had this additional information been a part of the original autopsy report. However… the way this information is being presented now raises even more questions. The medical records are unambiguous about the fact that tests performed at Cy-Fair came back negative for PCP. Granted, these tests were performed on sputum samples, which are not as accurate as tests performed on biopsied lung tissue.
That it took four months to perform and report the finding of PCP-like particles is discomfiting, at best. If the autopsy findings of CMV—a virus—were visibly obvious, why was a fungal (co)- infection not apparent, or at the very least, warrant some mention of a “possible” fungal infection?
The supplemental report cites “multiple” fungal cysts. How many? A few? Dozens? Millions? The report does not quantify the findings. Like CMV, PCP is considered to be ubiquitous; it is commonly found in most people. If this is true, then is it really any surprise that PCP was (finally) found in Gos, given sufficient effort?
I do not want to be guilty of what I see so many AIDS dissidents doing: stretching until it hurts to make excuses for what is going to seem to be obvious to those who embrace the orthodox AIDS model. Still, if this was a classic case of “AIDS-related PCP”, it begs the question: why the heck did it take four months to isolate and identify the pathogen in Gos’ tissues?
It is also worth noting that the pathologists made no changes to their determination of the proximate cause of death, which specified solely CMV infection.
The response from AIDS “rethinkers”
Since I do not intend to write further on the matter of Gos’ death, barring even more “new” information, I feel compelled to share some other observations about some of the reactions to Gos’ passing. For starters, the typical sources of “grave dancing” have been notably quiet, which is nice. Not so much the case for some in the AIDS dissident community.
Following a nearly complete lack of meaningful discussion about his passing on the Rethinking AIDS Facebook page, where Gos volunteered as a moderator, RA president David Crowe and Elizabeth Ely contacted Gos’ wife Lisa for her blessing on, or perhaps participation in a podcast that was intended to “prove Gos did not die of AIDS” on David Crowe’s site How Positive Are You. The proposed show was to be based on an analysis of the autopsy that had been made public by Dr. Andy Maniotis.
The sheer depravity of this approach can only be appreciated when given a bit more background and context. When it became clear that Gos was dying, I reached out to Crowe, Ely and others, seeking advice and assistance, specifically about the opportunity to examine Gos’ tissue for actual HI-virus using electron micrography. If HIV does not exist, Gos was a perfect candidate to prove or disprove that, and I do not doubt that the money for an examination could have been raised. I was urged by Ely to contact Maniotis immediately. Despite some misgivings on my part (I’ve seen enough of Maniotis’ exhortations on various news feeds to be wary), I called him October 12, the Saturday night before Gos expired. It was one of the most unpleasant conversations I’ve ever had.
Maniotis was barely coherent. He did not recognize me at first, and he had never heard of Gos, despite having been sent a heads up email from Crowe. His first suggestion was that Gos be put on intravenous vitamin C immediately and to call him in the morning (I kid you not). I tried to explain that I needed no coaching about the benefit of high dose IVC, and that Gos was already beyond that point; I wanted to discuss EM and autopsy.
”Who is Gos?” Maniotis asked me. “I don’t know your friend, but he is no Tommy Morrison… he is no Arthur Ashe…” The unspoken, but clear message was: only famous people warrant Maniotis’ attention.
My face fell to the floor as I realized that Dr. Maniotis was not only living up to his reputation as a lush, but that he is apparently a bit of a starfucker to boot. And now Crowe and Ely had the gall to ask Lisa to approve of this man analyzing Gos’ cause of death after the fact? Needless to say, they received a deservedly brusque notice of rejection from Lisa.
I will not subject Lisa to further stress by raising questions that cannot be answered. She is not following my reports or any other online discussions about Gos because it is all she can manage to deal with her own grief. The only reason I have written this update is because—whether I like the news or not—additional information has been presented from the company that performed the autopsy. In the interest of full disclosure, I am sharing that here and now. Gos will not let me rest in peace without doing so. “Tell the truth,” he told me. “Hold nothing back.” I had no idea when I made that pledge just how difficult it would prove to do.
I can’t help but wonder what Gos would say today. He always insisted that he was willing to keep his mind open to any possibility, including the existence of a “mythical retrovirus” with supernatural abilities. Nothing in this new information supports that assertion, but rather than contorting into uncomfortable positions to deny that AIDS exists, or to continue to try to prove a negative, AIDS dissidents could serve a far greater good by acknowledging that too many of our own have died—with and without the use of ARVs. It’s time to put limited (at this point, more like non-existent) resources towards proactively moving our understanding of chronic immune illness forward, as well as testing and developing non-toxic alternative treatments to help people with…. dare I say it… AIDS.