U.S. Pain Foundation President Speaks Out Against Senator Rand Paul's Disability Comments
Pain Ambassadors and Members,
We were saddened and angered by comments made by Senator Rand Paul during a breakfast in New Hampshire concerning those living with disabilities. U.S. Pain Foundation's Founder and President Paul Gileno has responded to the Senator's comments and will continue to work to have a direct conversation with him about his incorrect, discriminatory and hurtful remarks.
"You know, the thing is is that with all of these programs,
there's always somebody who's
deserving and everybody in this room knows somebody who is gaming the system," said Paul. "What I tell people is, 'If you look like me and you hop out of your truck, you shouldn't be getting a disability check.' You know, over half the people on disability are either anxious or their back hurts. Join the club! [the group laughs] Who doesn't get up a little anxious for work every day and their back hurts?! Everybody over 40 has a back pain."
-Rand Paul, Senator
Sadly, the misconceptions around those who live with debilitating injuries and illness continue and statements like the ones made by Senator Paul stand to only further create hostilities and discrimination.
We are urging our Advocates, members of the pain community and pain patient organizations to contact Senator Rand Paul directly and express how such statements can impact the progress of this nation when it comes to chronic pain perception.
Paul Gileno's reaction to Senator Rand Paul's remarks:
As President and Founder of U.S. Pain Foundation, I find this
absurd and offensive. As a person with pain, I find it appalling and sad. As an American, I can only see the disconnect he has from people with pain and INvisible disabilities.
Rand Paul, expect a huge backlash from this, as I will not sit quietly nor will the pain community. I plan to stop by your office tomorrow and every time I am in DC to meet with you about this. This is an open invitation to tell me to my face your feelings. I encourage everyone to write, call or drop by his office to discuss this. I want others to share this and to make comments. Let's show this person that we will not stand to be judged.
- Paul Gileno, President & Founder of U.S. Pain Foundation