Lead researcher on local polycythemia vera study gone to Mozambique
Baddick wasn't able to reach Seaman, however.
Why? Because the researcher is gone.
Until late December.
Hometown resident Joe Murphy, who has worked closely with Seaman on the study, knew the researcher was eventually going to Mozambique. Seaman was originally supposed to go in the spring, but those plans fell through. Murphy was under the impression that Seaman would remain stateside until later this month, but apparently the trip came up rather suddenly. Seaman called Murphy on Sunday to tell him he was leaving and to assure him that his colleagues with the ATSDR were prepared to discuss the study's findings.
Before leaving the country, Seaman reportedly met with Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) last week to discuss Specter's determination to make the results public as soon as possible, and to consider next steps and funding. Seaman did not give Murphy the impression that there was anything nefarious behind his trip coming at this time and sounded optimistic about the work moving ahead.
But given the still-unexplained delays surrounding the study's release, other local residents are taking a decidedly less optimistic view of Seaman's sudden relocation. In an article posted to his Web site yesterday, Dr. Dante Picciano called the researcher's transfer the "latest step in the cover-up" of the study's results.
"The head researcher will not be available for questions or recommendations when the filtered and sanitized results are reported to the public," he wrote.
Whether or not Seaman's sudden departure is part of any cover-up remains to be seen. But the agencies' delays and secretive behavior surrounding the release of the findings certainly do little to boost the public's confidence.