MB Comment: This is an old story (from 2003) but one that is under-appreciated. A medical journal article claims there is a 75% chance that US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) had Guillain-Barré Syndrome rather than polio. This is incredibly significant for several reasons: 1) Guillain-Barré Syndrome is a acknowledged and commonly-reported vaccine adverse reaction (as well as a disease complication). 2) FDR’s supposed polio was the inspiration for a huge polio vaccine development program (March of Dimes) and eventual universal polio vaccination program, which we are still experiencing today.
Like so much in medicine, reality turns out radically different than the original story. Modern polio vaccine hype still features FDR’s figure in a wheelchair as the frontman for our struggle to banish the dreaded disease of polio from the face of the earth. Excuse me: FDR probably didn’t have polio.
A more intriguing hypothesis is that FDR suffered a vaccine adverse reaction. The vaccines used in those days were smallpox, diphtheria and TB (BCG). Of course no one knows for sure, but wouldn’t it be ironic if the entire polio vaccine development program was instigated by the victim not of polio, but of a vaccine adverse reaction? That would make the polio vaccine the first anti-vaccine vaccine.
If the FDR/polio central plank of vaccine mythology is completely wrong, doesn’t it make you question the bold assertions made by medical zealots to justify modern vaccine efficacy and safety?
A new examination says there’s a 75-per-cent chance FDR suffered from Guillain-Barré syndrome
‘A group of Texas researchers is challenging the widely accepted and almost sacrosanct belief that Franklin Delano Roosevelt suffered from polio.
They argue that the U.S. president was, in fact, paralyzed by Guillain-Barré syndrome, an autoimmune disorder.
“No one can be absolutely sure of the cause of Roosevelt’s paralysis because relevant laboratory diagnostic tests were not available at the time of his illness,” said Armond Goldman, professor emeritus of medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. “But a retrospective analysis favours the diagnosis of GBS.”
In a case study published in today’s edition of the Journal of Medical Biography, Dr. Goldman and his team scrutinized the President’s symptoms (based on extensive published accounts) as well as a statistical analysis that took into account the frequency of paralytic poliomyelitis and Guillain-Barré syndrome in adults of Mr. Roosevelt’s age in 1921, the year he was stricken.
The examination revealed a 75-per-cent likelihood that FDR suffered from GBS and only a 25-per-cent likelihood that he suffered from polio.
Dr. Goldman, who has treated numerous patients with both conditions, said he is convinced that FDR was felled by GBS.‘