Tuesday, November 19, 2002

We assume everyone has by now heard the so-called news that John Kennedy was in very poor health and took a whole pile of drugs, some consciousness-altering. Here's a link from Fox News. These findings (they certainly seem to be completely legitimate) are interesting but not new, though they certainly do serve as confirmation for what was previously reported.

Paul Johnson wrote in A History of the American People, published in 1997, "(Joseph Kennedy's) lies centered on certain areas. One was Jack's health. Old Joe had learned many tricks in concealing the true state of his retarded daughter, Rosemary, buried alive in a home. He used them to gloss over the seriousness of Jack's back problems and his functional disorder, eventually diagnosed as Addison's disease. Strictly speaking, Jack was never fit to hold any important public office, and the list of lies told about his body by the Kennedy camp over many years is formidable. The back pain Jack suffered seems to have increased after he became President, and his White House physician, Dr. Janet Travell, had to give him two or three daily injections of novocaine. Jack eventually found this treatment intolerably painful. But he did not fire Travell, fearing that, though she had hitherto been willing to mislead the media about his health, she might now disclose his true medical history. Instead, he kept her on the payroll but put himself into the hands of a rogue named Dr. Max Jacobson, who later lost his medical license and was described by his nurse as 'absolutely a quack'. Known to his celebrity clients as 'Doctor Feelgood' , because of his willingness to inject amphetamines laced with steroids, animal cells, and other goodies, Jacobson started to shoot powerful drugs into Jack once, twice, even three times a week. Although he turned down a request to move into the White House, he had succeeded, by the summer of 1961, in making the President heavily dependent on amphetamines." Johnson says later that Kennedy's chubby cheeks, which he only developed after becoming President, were the result of all the cortisone that was being injected into him.

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