Actor Michael J. Fox, whom pop culture will forever remember as Marty McFly, has done wonders shining a spotlight on Parkinson’s Disease throughout the decades. But on the political front, his light may be a tad dimmer.
Speaking with The New York Times about a recent medical scare he endured, the former “Back to the Future” actor took aim at the Trump Administration for being skeptical toward science while repeating the claim that President Trump mocked a disabled reporter during the 2016 presidential campaign.
“Does the current administration’s apparent skepticism toward science at all affect your foundation’s research?” The New York Times asked Fox as its first line of questioning, immediately jumping into politics before anything else.
“We have a working relationship with the government,” Fox said of his foundation’s work. “Trump is not sitting around thinking about Parkinson’s.”
The actor continued: “But one thing that angered me is when he mocked that reporter. That was a stab to the guts. Not just for me, but for people I know and work with, who try so hard to overcome other people’s atavistic aversion to anybody that moves differently. So I thought, ‘Do I say something in response?’ Then I thought, ‘People already know Trump is an [expletive].'”
Fox was referring to the time President Trump allegedly mocked NYT reporter Serge Kovaleski, who has the joint condition arthrogryposis. But as The Washington Examiner noted:
As everyone has seen by now, Trump in late 2015 referred to Kovaleski’s backtracking at one of his rallies, saying, “[The report was] written by a nice guy; now, the poor guy, you got to see this guy…”
Trump then started jerking his arms around and, in a mocking tone, said, “Ah, I don’t know what I said! Ah, I don’t remember!”
If Trump’s purpose was to mock-imitate Kovaleski, anyone watching would have never known it; and not just because no one would know who Kovaleski is, if the media hadn’t manufactured a controversy.
The media would have everyone believe Kovaleski has Parkinson’s disease or at least Restless Leg Syndrome.
Anyone can search “Serge Kovaleski” on YouTube and see videos of the reporter. He doesn’t jerk his arms around, in fact, because his mobility is limited. He’s still.
A corpse would be doing a more accurate imitation.
By the way, Trump has mocked bank executives, Ted Cruz and the response President Obama’s generals give to questions about fighting the Islamic State and he used the exact same affect as he did for Kovaleski.
Actress Meryl Streep also made headlines in 2017 when she accused the President of mocking a disabled reporter when accepting her lifetime achievement award at the Golden Globes.
“[T]here was one performance this year that stunned me,” she said. “It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter.”
Streep received relatively no pushback from the mainstream media. Both Snopes and Politifact continue to push the notion that President Trump mocked a disabled reporter.
In the same interview, Fox opened up about some of the medical issues he currently faces with Parkinson’s, which do indeed shine a light on the suffering such patients experience.
“I was having this recurring problem with my spinal cord,” said Fox. “I was told it was benign but if it stayed static I would have diminished feeling in my legs and difficulty moving. Then all of a sudden I started falling — a lot. It was getting ridiculous. I was trying to parse what was the Parkinson’s and what was the spinal thing. But it came to the point where it was probably necessary to have surgery. So I had surgery, and an intense amount of physical therapy after. I did it all, and eventually people asked me to do some acting. Last August I was supposed to go to work. I woke up, walked into the kitchen to get breakfast, misstepped and I went down. I fractured the hell out of my arm. I ended up getting 19 pins and a plate. It was such a blow.”