Some Comments on Dr. Gallo's Response to the Celia Farber article in Harper's.

The Gallo, et al response [abbreviated to just "Gallo" below for brevity] to the Farber article, while detailed and slick, is less impressive when looked at closely.

When I posed a question to Gallo at an Albany appearance several years ago, my strong impression was that he did not have much experience or ability in dealing with those who disagree with him.

Responding to my question, his first impulse was to launch into an attack on Professor Peter Duesberg, who had not even been mentioned in the question.

The same tendency appears in the Farber response document, which is replete with denunciations of dissenters as "AIDS denialists". For most people, resort to personal attacks suggests a weak case, as law schools have taught for decades.

Gallo impugns Farber's fitness to write an article due to her connections to the AIDS dissenters. [Page 8, 51;3] Applying similar criteria to Gallo would disqualify him from producing a response, since he is far more tied into the AIDS enterprise than Farber is to its opposition.

Gallo also provides a negative categorization by association or just assertions of each person mentioned in the Farber article. Truly, if ever someone should have taken the lesson about "people who live in glass houses" to heart, it is Robert Gallo. Aside from profiting from the HIV test, Gallo tried to take credit for discovery of a retrovirus that had previously been sent to him, landing him in trouble with scientific authorities, and triggering a transatlantic scientific and intergovernmental dispute. His published work on controlling Kaposi's sarcoma could not be duplicated by Arizona scientists, leading to another dispute played out in the journals Science and JAMA.

Some of the weak areas in Gallo's response: [The references are to identifiers in the Gallo, et al work, which can be found on the web by searching on Farber and Harper's]

The problems identified with drug trials and the public's great mistrust of big pharma will ultimately undermine Gallo's virtually unqualified support of the AIDS drug enterprise.