You really should listen to or read the whole statement. It is an eloquent and unapologetic defense of scientific research.
At this moment, the full promise of stem cell research remains unknown, and it should not be overstated. But scientists believe these tiny cells may have the potential to help us understand, and possibly cure, some of our most devastating diseases and conditions. To regenerate a severed spinal cord and lift someone from a wheelchair. To spur insulin production and spare a child from a lifetime of needles. To treat Parkinson’s, cancer, heart disease and others that affect millions of Americans and the people who love them.
But that potential will not reveal itself on its own. Medical miracles do not happen simply by accident. They result from painstaking and costly research – from years of lonely trial and error, much of which never bears fruit – and from a government willing to support that work. From life-saving vaccines, to pioneering cancer treatments, to the sequencing of the human genome – that is the story of scientific progress in America. When government fails to make these investments, opportunities are missed. Promising avenues go unexplored. Some of our best scientists leave for other countries that will sponsor their work. And those countries may surge ahead of ours in the advances that transform our lives.
The Michael J. Fox Foundation responds:
Today is a new day. I could not be more thrilled to see President Obama live up to his commitment to get politics out of science. We have seen, for the past eight years, how much damage the opposite approach has done to science and patients. Now that the President has taken this critical action, I am excited by the prospect of American scientists carrying human embryonic stem cell research forward toward better treatments and cures that will affect countless millions of lives.
I commend the President for recognizing the inherent value of scientific freedom, and for helping to create an environment in which it can flourish.
The ALS Association responds:
President Barack Obama’s decision today to lift restrictions that have limited federal funding for embryonic stem cell research will significantly aid the search for the causes and cure of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. ... The ALS Association believes that stem cell research is a rapidly-evolving field that holds the potential to provide benefit to people with ALS in the future. The continuing pursuit of stem cell research with appropriate scientific review and ethical guidelines directly furthers the mission of The ALS Association in finding a cure for and improving living with ALS.
Nancy Reagan responds:
Countless people, suffering from many different diseases, stand to benefit from the answers stem cell research can provide. We owe it to ourselves and to our children to do everything in our power to find cures for these diseases — and soon. As I’ve said before, time is short, and life is precious.
Thank you President Obama, for once again fixing something that should not have been broken.