Michael J. Fox Fires Back at Critics

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Fox: Absolutely. Who would have a problem with that? That's fantastic.

But it will, in the end, account for only a tiny fraction of those eggs. And so our point is that the pro-life position is to use that -- what up to this point is waste, of literal waste that is going to be thrown away -- use it to save lives and to ensure lives for the future. I mean, they talk about unborn. Unborn kids are going to be born with diabetes. People are going to be dealing with a genetic predisposition to Alzheimer's or to Parkinson's or kids that are going to be injured, have spinal cord injury.

That those kids may be born into a world that has the answers for that. That's our position.

(BREAK FOR DIRECTION)

(INTERVIEW RESUMES)

Stephanopoulos: You were just saying you're about to hit a pocket.

Fox: Yeah, I just hit a nice pocket. I should be calm for a sec.

Stephanopoulos: Good.

Fox: It's kind of like surfing, you know. You wait for the wave. And I just hit a nice wave I think.

Stephanopoulos: Well, I don't want to rile you up, but I am going to bring up Rush Limbaugh one more time.

(LAUGHTER)

Fox: There it goes!

Stephanopoulos: One of the things he says is that when you're talking about all these cures, you're giving people false hope and that it's cruel.

Fox: It's so funny. What is crueler, to not have hope or to have hope? And it's not false hope. It's a very informed hope. I mean, it's hope that's informed by the opinion of our leading scientists, almost to the point of unanimity that embryonic stem cells, because they're pluripotent, because they have the capacity to be anything, and, are truly-- Will [it] be a straight path to victory? Probably not. Probably you'll have stutter steps along the way.

In fact, they just did some work where they found that it actually relieved the symptoms of Parkinson's in one test, but there some residue, some tissue residue that built up, which is not ideal. But two steps forward, one step forward, one step back, you know, it's a process, it's how this country was built. It's what we do, you know. It seems to me that in the last few years, eight, 10 years, we've just stopped, we've become incurious and un-ambitious. And hope, I mean, hope is-- I don't want to get too corny about it, but isn't that what the person in the harbor with the thing--? (Gestures)

It's about hope. And so to characterize hope as some sort of malady or some kind of flaw of character or national weakness is, to me, really counter to what this country is about.

Stephanopoulos: We first talked about this five years ago. And you did talk about the enormous promise.

Looking back five years later, some scientists do, it's been a disappointment.

Fox: Well, it's been a disappointment in that they haven't had a full deck to deal from.

I mean, we talked in 2001 and there, you know, there was talk of 60 lines. And even that really 60 lines out of potentially thousands of lines. We've been limited to 60.

I remember sharing with you with one point, whether on camera or not, that there would be less than that and it turned out to be less than that.

And then those lines turned out to be quite polluted in some cases with mouse cells.

And also now, now, it's like you're try to get a good picture out of a videotape that's been recorded on over the course of 10 years.

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