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Stem Sell

4:05 PM, Mar 25, 2009 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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Ramesh Ponnuru factchecks Obama's claim last night that greater federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research may help find a cure for Alzheimer's:

In 2004, Rick Weiss reported in the Washington Post that "the infrequently voiced reality, stem cell experts confess, is that, of all the diseases that may someday be cured by embryonic stem cell treatments, Alzheimer's is among the least likely to benefit." Weiss called the Alzheimer's hype a "distortion" and quoted a researcher who explained the hype by saying that "people need a fairy tale." Weiss, be it noted, is no conservative. After the Post he went to the liberal Center for American Progress, and he is reportedly up for an Obama administration job.

Ponnuru notes the many press reports that failed to point out Obama's distortion. The press failed to hold Obama accountable when he made the same dubious claim in January.

One has to wonder: Is Obama knowingly giving false hope to those suffering with Alzheimer's? Or does he not know enough about stem-cell research to understand that he's simply repeating a "fairy tale"?

For more fisking of Obama's stem-cell remarks last night, see Yuval Levin here.