October 13, 2004 -- TEMPE, Ariz. — John Edwards is claiming that if John Kerry wins the White House, paralyzed people like Christopher Reeve will get out of their wheelchairs and walk again — touching off a pre-debate fury.They have no shame and say anything to get elected.
That claim is "shameful" and a "falsehood," shot back the U.S. Senate's only doctor, Majority Leader Bill Frist, heading into tonight's final Bush-Kerry debate in Arizona....
...Frist, a renowned heart surgeon, said: "They're trying to shamefully use the death of people like Christopher Reeve to promote falsehood and dishonesty. To me it's crass and opportunistic. It's giving false hope to people."
Frist (R-Tenn.), a key Bush ally, said there are 120 to 140 stem-cell therapies now in use for paralyzed people. All involve adult-type cells from bone marrow and none involves stem cells.
Many scientists see stem cells as a potential cure for a host of diseases. None, however, has claimed, as Edwards did, that paralyzed people could walk again in just a few years.