Tuesday, November 8, 2011


In the context of a press conference discussing the upcoming (9-11 Nov 2011) convention on adult stem-cell research, former HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson had this to say. Especially in the light of the wonderful speech given by Lila Rose at our annual 2B pro-life banquet, exposing the fraudulent (and criminal) practices of some Planned Parenthood abortion clinics, this makes for important reading. There is so much we can do; why drive the agenda bus any further with regard to the supposed necessity of abortion and embryonic stem-cells as the only way forward in this research?

Footnote: in the near future Our Savior will sponsor an evening with myself and Dr Richard Duffey to discuss the ethical and political implications of our stem-cell policies. It will be a follow-up to the presentation Dr Duffey made earlier here, presenting the medical and scientific basis of stem-cell research and treatments.


Thank you so much, Card. Ravasi, and thanks also to NeoStem, The Stem for Life Foundation, and of course, The Vatican for bringing us all together on this historic day.
As many of you know, I was The U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services from 2001 to 2005. This was obviously a great privilege for me, and while I am no scientist or doctor, the job gave me a unique understanding of the many issues driving today’s dialogue on healthcare.

And adult stem cells deserve to be at the heart of this discussion – and it’s a subject I’m very passionate about.

Throughout the course of my career, whether in the public or private sector, the best ideas I’ve come across have always been the simplest ones. And frankly, I just don’t believe that man can engineer something superior to what The Good Lord has already given us. That’s what I love about adult stem cells – we’re using the divine wisdom inside of us to supercharge our bodies and wipe away disease. And as we do this, not one single human embryo is destroyed.

And that to me is a very big idea – but this idea has been shrouded in an ugly political argument that has served no one.

When I talk to the average American about adult stem cells, many of them are really surprised. All they have ever heard about are embryonic stem cells and this political battle about who is right and wrong. They see the constant finger pointing in Washington – and instead of focusing on "what we can do right now" with adult stem cells, our leaders argue about "what we should not do" with embryonic stem cells.

That doesn’t make any sense to me at all – and that’s why today is such an important, historic day, and I’m just thrilled to be a part of it.

The 246 million people in this world suffering from diabetes need to hear our voices today. The 770,000 Americans that will have a heart attack or stroke this year need to hear this message. Our men and women in uniform need to know that there is so much to be hopeful for – a day when our wounded veterans can regrow their own skin, organs and bones. And maybe, just maybe, one day our quadriplegics will rise up from their wheelchairs.

This is not wishful thinking, folks – that day is here if we want it – and that’s why I want to share my vision for a future of cellular collaboration.

President John F. Kennedy once challenged the nation and in fact the whole world to put a man on the moon in a historic research and development initiative. It was a race against the clock and an unprecedented era of scientific collaboration.

Ladies and gentleman, if we can put a moon on the moon, then we can surely unite to return health to the hundreds of millions of people suffering needlessly throughout the world. And we can do so without destroying one human life.

And we’re in our own race against the clock. The American baby boomers are just hitting retirement, so we’re going to see a huge spike in chronic disease in the years ahead. Just look at diabetes. Currently, one out of every eight Americans has diabetes and by 2050 one out of every three of us will have it. And already our nation is spending $200 billion dollars per year to manage this disease.

Can you believe this? $200 billion a year for this one disease? Can you imagine what diabetes will cost us when one third of all Americans have it?

This makes no sense to me. We’re wasting money managing a chronic disease instead of finding a cure for it. And ironically, the cure is sitting right inside of our own bodies, a divine intelligence just sitting there to be harvested and given back to us.

So why not create a coordinated network of scientists and professionals devoted to discovering and funding these vital therapies? We must tap the best of private enterprise to "get the job done fast". We must turn to America’s brightest companies and business leaders to take the best research from our universities and translate them into here-and-now cures.

Today I am calling on President Obama to create a Presidential-level commission of private sector business leaders to begin this important work. This group should evaluate all of the Federal efforts to date surrounding regenerative medicine, and they should make specific recommendations to our President on how we can better coordinate these efforts and unite them with the best of private enterprise. And I’m not alone in calling on our President to lead us in this initiative. Just this year The Alliance for Regenerative Medicine called on The Obama Administration to develop a national strategy for regenerative medicine.

But to date, nothing has been done.

That’s why I am so excited to be with all of you. Today, here in The Vatican, we are beginning that process – we are ushering in a new era of scientific collaboration – a true ‘race for the cure’ that will bring hope to the entire world.

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you so much for listening. And now I’ll be glad to answer any of your questions…

[01563-02.02] [Original text: English]

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