Amanda McKenzie is a recent graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno, preparing for medical school. As a Biology major, WPI provided Amanda a platform from which she took the knowledge she learned in the classroom and applied it in the laboratory.
The 2011 annual report for the Whittemore Peterson Institute (WPI), states that Amanda McKenzie is a recent biology graduate, who intends to go to medical school. No date is given for her recent graduation and there is no indication she has been accepted to medical school, as yet. WPI (not specifically The WPI) is said to have provided a “platform” to take classroom knowledge and apply it in a laboratory. Does this mean work experience? Is Amanda McKenzie therefore a student/lab assistant?
What follows is an analysis of the affidavit provided by Amanda McKenzie on the 21st November 2011. These are the questions that a judge should have asked in the absence of Dr Mikovits. Was this affidavit even accepted by the judge into evidence?
1) I am a research assistant in the Whittemore Peterson research lab, where I have been employed since January 5, 2010.
Employed does not necessarily mean paid, it can be used to mean an activity which a person devotes their time to, or having your services engaged, used or exploited. If Amanda is a recent graduate, was part of her Biology course at the University of Nevada to include work experience in an operational laboratory?
POSSIBLE TRANSLATION: I have been used as a lab assistant in the WPI research lab since January 5, 2010.
2) On or about September 29, 2011, after Dr. Mikovits’ termination from WPI, I was informed by Judy to remove cell lines and blood samples from the lab at WPI and to ship them out. Earlier in the week she had personally requested several samples of cell lines and plasma to be shipped to Frank Ruscetti. Dr. Mikovits stated that I was to report to her, that she was my boss and that she was still the Research Director. The method of communication was Pfost’s cell phone by text message. Mikovits stated that I was to help her and Max Pfost ship the samples out. I did not ship the samples.
At some point, perhaps even when Amanda joined WPI or maybe when Amanda had not followed instructions, Dr Mikovits explained that she would be reporting to her and that she was the Research Director. Amanda would need to know this, or be reminded of this. If Dr Mikovits had told Amanda she was to report to her, then Amanda would be expected to carry out any of her instructions.
As Amanda is a junior lab assistant, shipping may or may not have been part of her assigned tasks. However, it is not clear from the above and Amanda does say that she “did not ship the samples”. Amanda also does not say she was asked to ship items, only that a request had been made to “remove” items that would be shipped to Dr Ruscetti. It is also said that Dr Mikovits asked someone (this may not be Amanda) to have Amanda help Max Pfost ship samples. If Amanda was not to ship the items, was it therefore Max’s job to do so? How did Amanda therefore help with this? Did she carry the items, maintain the booking system, arrange couriers, or was she to collect the items from a freezer? “Remove” implies she was to carry items, but we cannot be sure.
There are in fact 3 potential shipping requests in this statement. We cannot be sure that they are all the same request. The first request is “On or about” the 29th of September (date cannot be confirmed) from Dr Mikovits to ship cell lines and blood samples. The 29th is the day that Dr Mikovits was fired. If Amanda’s regular work schedule, as explained in section 3, were to work Monday, Wednesday and Friday, then why would it be the 29th, which was a Thursday? This appears to be misleading, as Amanda would know she was not in work that day. Why therefore say “On or about September 29, 2011”? In addition, we do not know to whom these cell lines and blood samples were to be shipped to. A request from Dr Mikovits to ship samples would also be completely normal and routine.
The second potential request is from earlier in the week from an unknown “she”, which may or may not be Dr Mikovits, but is to send cell lines and plasma to Dr Ruscetti. Sending samples to Dr Ruscetti would also be completely normal and routine considering he had been collaborating with the WPI research lab for several years.
The third potential request is to help Max ship samples. Max may always have been involved in all shipments. Having Amanda help a senior colleague in the lab would also be completely normal and routine.
The items in each of these three sentences are not necessarily the same samples, blood samples, plasma or cell lines. We also do not know from the above if these items were shipped. It is also not know why anyone would stop such shipment if the items never reached their destinations. We don’t know if they ever did.
It is said that the method of communication was by text message using a cell phone. Was this from Max Pfosts cell phone or to it? How does Amanda know what was in the text message if this was to Max’s cell phone? We do not know who was using Max’s phone. Max would be Amanda’s superior. If Max received a request from Dr Mikovits for shipping then he could be the person who told Amanda to help him. We do not know. The use of phone communication suggests that whoever sent the message and the person who received the message were not together in the same location.
The most important question from this seems to be why Amanda does not know on which date she was asked to “remove” items for shipping? Why the confusion?
POSSIBLE TRANSLATION: I’m not sure when exactly, I recieved a text message from Pfosts cell phone asking me to ship out some cells from the research lab. In the early part of the week when Dr Mikovits was sacked she had requested cells and plasma from XXXX so they could be shipped to Dr Ruscetti to be used in an experiment he was involved in. Dr Mikovits has previously told me I was to report to her, as she was the Research Director. She told me to help with the task of getting plasma and cell lines ready for shipment to XXXX as it was my job.
3) My regular schedule was to work Monday, Wednesday and Friday. During the period of September 26, 2011 to October 6, 2011, I did not work on any days other than Monday and Wednesday, September 26 and 28, 2011.
If Amanda’s regular work schedule was Monday, Wednesday and Friday, what was her irregular schedule? Did she have an irregular work schedule? Did Amanda work different shifts and where did she work? Did she work on Tuesdays and Thursdays at WPI and in which lab? Did Amanda ever work night shifts? Did Amanda go on holiday after the 28th September? On Tuesdays and Friday’s did Amanda have classes at the university? Did Amanda ever work or study at the weekend?
POSSIBLE TRANSLATION: I work Monday, Tuesday and Friday normally. I only worked day shifts on Monday 26th and Wednesday 28th of September 2011, between September 26, 2011 to October 6, 2011.
4) At no time during that time did I see Dr. Mikovits' keys in the laboratory, nor did I see them when I left WPI on Wednesday, September 28, 2011. I did not return to WPI until after Mikovits' termination. Mikovits would leave her keys behind in a drawer in the lab if she was leaving town, otherwise she would take the keys home with her every night. In addition, Mikovits took her laptop home with her every time I saw her leave WPI. Also, she took her notebooks out of the lab to finish work at home, which l understood was against the research rules.
Amanda states that Dr Mikovits would leave her keys behind in a drawer when she was leaving town. Amanda also says that she did not see Dr Mikovits keys in the lab. Are these two sets of keys or separate?
How does Amanda know where Dr Mikovits keeps a set of keys? Could it be that other members of the lab needed these keys? Did Dr Mikovits therefore leave keys where they could be easily found? Amanda as a lab assistant is perhaps not senior enough to have permission to access these keys. That could explain why she says she never saw them during some unnamed time period until she left WPI on Wednesday the 28th of September. Alternatively she may have had no reason to look for the keys, and they could have remained in a drawer or with Dr Mikovits during this time period. It is also not know if Amanda, Dr Mikovits or the keys were all in the same location. The drawer may not even be in the same lab in which Amanda works. It could be a different lab that Amanda refers to.
Amanda says she did not return until after Dr Mikovits termination, but where did she not return? Where was Amanda during that time? On what date did she return to work? Why is this not clear?
Dr Mikovits is said to have taken her laptop home every night, a laptop that is said to be Dr Mikovits’s laptop. How does Amanda know Dr Mikovits takes her laptop home every night if Amanda only has a regular schedule of Monday, Wednesday and Friday? Does Amanda closely watch what Dr Mikovits took home every night and follow all her movements? Why does it matter if Dr Mikovits took her laptop home at night? This would be normal.
Who told Amanda it was against research rules to take notebooks home to work on? Which notebooks is Amanda referring to? Are these research notebooks or personal notebooks? Is Amanda familiar with any of Dr Mikovits notebooks? Could she recognize them? How does Amanda know Dr Mikovits took any notebooks home with her? Again, has Amanda closely watched all Dr Mikovits movements every time she finished work? Wouldn’t Amanda have been too busy with her assigned tasks and studies to monitor the activities of Dr Mikovits?
POSSIBLE TRANSLATION: I believe Dr Mikovits kept the keys to her cabinet with her except when she left WPI, when I believe she would put them in a drawer in the lab for others to access. On the few occasions that I did see Dr Mikovits leave to go home I noticed she was carrying her laptop. I believe Dr Mikovits would also take some notebooks home to work, but I am not sure if they were personal or research notebooks and I never saw her leave the building with them. XXXX told me this was not allowed.
5) I put approximately 10 laboratory notebooks ín the new research laboratory in November, 2010 when WPI moved from the old research laboratory, and I have not seen them since. These laboratory notebooks were on the bench top, which was against procedure, so I put them away in a lockable drawer.
6) I heard from her last week, Wednesday November 16, 2011, by text message when she was trying to find Max Pfost.
Who did Amanda hear from the week before the 21st November 2011? Who was trying to find Max Prost? Was the text from Annette Whittemore? Could it have been from Dr Mikovits? The person sending the text and the person looking for Max are not said to be the same person. Why would it matter if someone was trying to find Max? Why would it matter if Dr Mikovits was trying to find Max?
POSSIBLE TRANSLATION: Last week, Wednesday November 16, 2011, I got a text message from XXXX, to say that XXXX was trying to find Max Pfost.
The affidavit from Amanda McKenzie does not seem to serve any purpose. It is lacking in specifics that should be easy to confirm and is contradictory on several occasions. It would be highly unlikely that this would be acceptable to any judge as evidence of anything considering that Amanda doesn’t appear to have a story to tell.
Considering her position as a student lab assistant and the availability of other more senior staff members, why is this along with the affidavit of Max Pfost the only affidavit to have been taken? What information could the other staff members have to reveal?