Don Reed
6 min readNov 30, 2022

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ON HERSCHEL WALKER: A Patient Advocate’s Perspective

By Don C. Reed

Should Herschel Walker, a vocal enemy of science, become Georgia’s next United States Senator? As a patient advocate for several decades, I hope not.

It is not a question of Walker’s politics, to which he is entitled; but the man does not appear to know even the most basic facts about modern medicine.

When asked his opinion on the In Vitro Fertilization process (IVF) Walker replied:

“And the conception of a baby?” Walker said, “Let me tell you, science cannot do that. They’re still trying to do it, but they can’t…” (1)

The man is either ignorant or dishonest. Last year, more than 500,000 American babies were conceived by this method. In the 40 years since it began, more than eight million children have been born through IVF. (2) Walker may not politically agree with the procedure,, but he can hardly deny that it works. His position may be affected, however, by fundamentalist anti-choice groups, which would ban IVF (3), and which has pumped over $1M into his campaign in its final weeks. (4)

Another example: Walker claims the existence of a “dry mist” which supposedly cures COVID. But where is his proof? This would be an incredibly valuable substance, if real. Unfortunately, there seems to be no evidence about this mystery mist, aside from Walker’s word. (5)

Georgia deserves leadership which knows the urgency of life-saving medical science. Medical care in the Peach State is all too limited, especially in rural areas.(6) In the last ten years, no less than eight Georgia hospitals have shut down. If you want medical care for a loved one today, you may need to drive long distances, sometimes over bumpy roads, hoping the patient will survive long enough to reach a still-functioning hospital.

And it gets worse… Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) is the lead senate architect of a plan to gut Medicare programs. He has not only endorsed Walker, but came to Georgia to campaign for him. (9)

And what about the incredibly promising stem cell research? My mother died of cancer; my sister of leukemia; my son suffers today, from spinal cord injury paralysis. Stem cell research offers potential to create therapies and cures for all three conditions, as well as diabetes, heart disease, blindness, Alzheimer’s, liver and kidney disease, stroke, and other chronic diseases and conditions, many in FDA-approved human trials. Would Walker support such potential therapies? Fundamentalist groups which fervently oppose such research have invested well over $2.5 million into the Walker campaign (7).

Unfortunately, there’s more:

As a U.S. Senator, Walker would be deciding Social Security benefits. Top leaders in his party, those with whom he has campaigned (8), have sworn to significantly cut, or outright kill, this program within five years. (9) Retired folk need and deserve those monthly Social Security checks. Nearly 2 million of Georgia’s seniors count on them to help pay for prescriptions and other necessities — after having contributed hard earned dollars to the program for all their working lives. How will Walker vote, when his party tells him to eliminate those checks?

Walker is personally worth tens of millions, most of which he earned profiting off of his celebrity. Does he understand how important Social Security and Medicare are to everyday Georgians and the uninsured poor? It would not appear so.

Herschel Walker is heavily backed by groups that would ban some of the most promising forms of medical research, and who want to deny millions of Americans the ability to have children through IVF. He is part of an ultraconservative ideology committed to reducing medical care and healthcare access in the state and nation. Given the opportunity, he would eliminate Social Security and Medicare.

I hope to never see Herschel Walker deciding laws that bind our country.

Georgia, and America, deserve better.

A note on voting eligibility to any Georgia resident:

If you have questions, click below. It is the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office, explaining the runoff. They know everything about Georgia voting. They are even set up to help you register.

https://georgia.gov/register-vote

Want an alternative source of information? try Vote411.org, a website built by the League of Women Voters:

ON HERSCHEL WALKER: A Patient Advocate’s Perspective

By Don C. Reed

Should Herschel Walker, a vocal enemy of science, become Georgia’s next United States Senator? As a patient advocate for several decades, I hope not.

It is not a question of Walker’s politics, to which he is entitled; but the man does not appear to know even the most basic facts about modern medicine.

When asked his opinion on the In Vitro Fertilization process (IVF) Walker replied:

“And the conception of a baby?” Walker said, “Let me tell you, science cannot do that. They’re still trying to do it, but they can’t…” (1)

The man is either ignorant or dishonest. Last year, more than 500,000 American babies were conceived by this method. In the 40 years since it began, more than eight million children have been born through IVF. (2) Walker may not politically agree with the procedure,, but he can hardly deny that it works. His position may be affected, however, by fundamentalist anti-choice groups, which would ban IVF (3), and which has pumped over $1M into his campaign in its final weeks. (4)

Another example: Walker claims the existence of a “dry mist” which supposedly cures COVID. But where is his proof? This would be an incredibly valuable substance, if real. Unfortunately, there seems to be no evidence about this mystery mist, aside from Walker’s word. (5)

Georgia deserves leadership which knows the urgency of life-saving medical science. Medical care in the Peach State is all too limited, especially in rural areas.(6) In the last ten years, no less than eight Georgia hospitals have shut down. If you want medical care for a loved one today, you may need to drive long distances, sometimes over bumpy roads, hoping the patient will survive long enough to reach a still-functioning hospital.

And it gets worse… Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) is the lead senate architect of a plan to gut Medicare programs. He has not only endorsed Walker, but came to Georgia to campaign for him. (7)

And what about the incredibly promising stem cell research? My mother died of cancer; my sister of leukemia; my son suffers today, from spinal cord injury paralysis. Stem cell research offers potential to create therapies and cures for all three conditions, as well as diabetes, heart disease, blindness, Alzheimer’s, liver and kidney disease, stroke, and other chronic diseases and conditions, many in FDA-approved human trials. Would Walker support such potential therapies? Fundamentalist groups which fervently oppose such research have invested well over $2.5 million into the Walker campaign (7).

Unfortunately, there’s more:

As a U.S. Senator, Walker would be deciding Social Security benefits. Top leaders in his party, those with whom he has campaigned (8), have sworn to significantly cut, or outright kill, this program within five years. (9) Retired folk need and deserve those monthly Social Security checks. Nearly 2 million of Georgia’s seniors count on them to help pay for prescriptions and other necessities — after having contributed hard earned dollars to the program for all their working lives. How will Walker vote, when his party tells him to eliminate those checks?

Walker is personally worth tens of millions, most of which he earned profiting off of his celebrity. Does he understand how important Social Security and Medicare are to everyday Georgians and the uninsured poor? It would not appear so.

Herschel Walker is heavily backed by groups that would ban some of the most promising forms of medical research, and who want to deny millions of Americans the ability to have children through IVF. He is part of an ultraconservative ideology committed to reducing medical care and healthcare access in the state and nation. Given the opportunity, he would eliminate Social Security and Medicare.

I hope to never see Herschel Walker deciding laws that bind our country.

Georgia, and America, deserve better.

A note on voting eligibility to any Georgia resident:

If you have questions, click below. It is the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office, explaining the runoff. They know everything about Georgia voting. They are even set up to help you register.

https://georgia.gov/register-vote

Want an alternative source of information? try Vote411.org, a website built by the League of Women Voters:

https://www.vote411.org/about

References:

1. https://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/maddowblog/herschel-walker-appeared-question-vitro-fertilization-rcna20446

2. https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/03/health/worldwide-ivf-babies-born-study

3. https://www.forbes.com/sites/zacheverson/2022/11/03/anti-abortion-pacs-spent-11-million-in-just-four-weeks-backing-herschel-walker/

4. https://twitter.com/jessicavalenti/status/1592640415374901249

5. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/georgia-senate-candidate-herschel-walker-promoted-a-mist-that-he-claimed-would-kill-any-covid-on-your-body/2022/01/12/230ec9a8-73b9-11ec-bc13-18891499c514_story.html

6. https://www.ajc.com/pulse/georgia-among-10-worst-us-states-for-health-care/W6F4ODFUTBFPDLM2PSGOFWNN2E/

7. https://www.fec.gov/data/independent-expenditures/?data_type=processed&q_spender=C00332296&q_spender=C00358051&q_spender=C00530766&q_spender=National+right+to+life&is_notice=true&most_recent=true&candidate_id=S0GA00559&candidate_id=S2GA00225

8. https://www.georgiademocrat.org/walker-to-campaign-with-rick-scott-architect-of-gop-plan-to-slash-social-security-and-medicare/

9. https://www.americanprogressaction.org/article/maga-republicans-plan-to-force-social-security-and-medicare-cuts/

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Don Reed

For 23 years, Don C. Reed has supported medical research, ever since his son Roman Reed was paralyzed in a college football accident.