Alpha-Gal Syndrome

 Bill Gates Funded Research Into Genetically Engineered Cattle Ticks—Now 450,000 Americans Have Red Meat Allergies From ‘Alpha-Gal Syndrome’ Caused by Tick Bites

ByJon Fleetwood of

As alpha-gal syndrome (AGS), a tick-borne disease that triggers an allergic reaction to red meat, sees a steep rise in cases, eyebrows are being raised over a coincidental alignment with research funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

AGS, first reported in Virginia in 2008, has seen an alarming increase over the past few years. According to a recent press release from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 450,000 people in the U.S. have tested positive for alpha-gal since 2010.

In 2021, the number of positive test results for AGS surged by 41.3% compared to 2017, and testing for alpha-gal peaked at 66,106 persons that year.

The same year, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced a significant grant of $1,469,352 toward research into the Rhipicephalus microplus (“Asian blue”) tick. This tick is known to cause AGS, as verified by a publication in the ImmunoTargets and Therapy journal found in the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM).

The grant was channeled to Oxitec Ltd., a biotechnology company that genetically modified male ticks to carry a “self-limiting gene,” intending to control the tick population by releasing these engineered ticks to mate with wild females in high-infestation areas. Oxitec’s project purportedly aimed to address the global pest problem affecting cattle, a significant source of red meat.

In June 2023, after Oxitec reported high efficacy in its tick experimentation, the Gates Foundation provided an additional $4.8 million in funding.

However, the intertwining of Gates’s interests and this rise in AGS cases is drawing scrutiny. Gates holds stakes in pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer Inc. that produce antibiotics such as doxycycline, commonly used to treat tick-borne illnesses like Lyme disease. Moreover, in 2017, his foundation granted over $1 million to Ceres Nanosciences, a diagnostics company specializing in Lyme disease detection.

In the food industry, Gates has significant investments in plant-based and lab-grown meat companies. He has backed companies such as Upside Foods, Good Meat, Beyond Meat, and Impossible Foods, some of which which have been approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the production and sale of meat substitute products.

While there is no definitive evidence linking Gates’s funding of tick research to the rise in AGS cases, the timing and the complexity of his interests have led to a growing call for more transparency and accountability.

But this isn’t the first time that Gates’s involvement in disease research and prevention has caused controversy. A similar series of events unfolded when Gates focused on malaria, a disease eradicated in the United States for decades, until recent developments.

Malaria was last detected in the U.S. back in 2003 when seven people in Palm Beach County were infected, as per the CDC. Fast forward to 2007, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation turned its sights on malaria research, subsequently pumping hundreds of millions of dollars into the cause, and increasing their malaria budget by 30% in 2014.

In a significant development, in July 2018, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) launched Krintafel (tafenoquine), a new treatment for Plasmodium vivax malaria. This marked the first new treatment for the disease in over six decades. Gates Foundation funding was pivotal in the drug’s development, a fact corroborated by Forbes. The Foundation continued to invest in tafenoquine research, backing various studies, including a Lancet-published article praising the drug’s performance.

Meanwhile, in 2019, the Foundation backed the “Injectable Artesunate Assessment Report,” establishing the efficacy of injectable artesunate, a malaria vaccine.

Notably, in September 2020, the Gates Foundation granted over $1.3 million to Oxitec Ltd., the same company involved in the aforementioned genetically engineered tick research, for “mosquito field trials.” These trials involved the release of genetically engineered Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, known vectors of diseases including malaria, into Florida and Texas following EPA approval in March 2022.

This move sparked outrage from locals who voiced concerns about being turned into “guinea pigs” for this “criminal” experiment, according to Florida resident Meagan Hull. Councilman Mark Gregg likened the GMO mosquitoes to “Frankenstein bugs.”

Fast forward to March 2023, and FFF Enterprises, a specialty vaccine distributor, announced it would start stocking the Gates-backed artesunate vaccine. Three months later, in June 2023, the CDC issued an alert about locally acquired malaria cases in Florida and Texas. Interestingly, the CDC, funded by the Gates Foundation, recommended rapid access to the artesunate vaccine.

As these series of events involving alpha-gal syndrome and malaria unfold, parallels can be drawn in the timing of the Gates Foundation’s funding and subsequent disease outbreaks. Though direct causality hasn’t been established, the correlation has led to calls for more in-depth investigations and heightened accountability. Transparency about these ties is paramount to alleviate public concerns and ensure ethical practices in disease prevention and treatment.



Cases of alpha-gal syndrome from tick bites are rising (

Red Meat Allergies Linked To Tick Bites On The Rise In GA,  | Across Georgia, GA Patch

Meat Allergy Cases Linked To Tick Bites Growing In Connecticut:  | Across Connecticut, CT Patch

Walking Backwards ~ The Benefits of Retro Walking

 Jennifer Rae Vliet

If you have trouble walking forwards with any kind of klutz curse like yours truly, this is something to be very careful about and best to use a treadmill with bars to hold on to with each hand to safely get acclimated, but wow, the benefits are amazing. Also, if you are concerned about the whole knees over toes thing, there is even a whole theory now out there about how that really isn't bad for the knees, and I suggest that this does go hand in hand in the research for walking backwards. There is even a YouTube channel called Knee Over Toe Guy. The goal is to not hurt oneself and get the maximum bennies out of walking backwards. Here we go...retro style!

What are the benefits of walking backwards?

Researchers say that with regular walking, the forward thrust or power is from your ankle. With backward walking, the power is from your hips and knees. This switch-up offers many benefits.

1. Builds muscle strength

When you walk, your gait or walking pattern is heel-to-toe. So with each step, your heel hits the ground first, followed by your toes. With backward walking, it's the opposite. Your toes hit the ground before your heel. This changes how the muscles work in your hips and legs.

The movement pattern in reverse or retro walking has been shown to make your legs work harder than walking forward. For example, as you walk backward, you engage the quadriceps at the front of your thigh to straighten your legs and propel you back. This can help you build lower-body muscle strength. Studies have shown that walking backward enhances quadriceps strength better than forward walking.

2. Improves balance and gait

Walking backward can improve gait, walking speed, and balance, especially after an injury or illness. One review found that when combined with other physical therapy treatments, retro walking improved gait and muscle strength in people with knee osteoarthritis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, and ACL injuries.

Another study examined a backward walking training program in people who had a stroke. It improved balance and walking speed better than standing balance training. A more recent study had similar findings. People recovering from a stroke walked backward on a treadmill for 30 minutes three times a week. They had better balance, walking speed, and cardiorespiratory fitness in four weeks.

3. Burns more calories than forward walking

Because your muscles work harder, reverse walking can help you burn more calories than regular walking. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) found that walking briskly –– at 3.5 miles per hour –– burns 4.3 METs or metabolic equivalents. Walking backward, on the other hand, burns 6.0 METs.

MET measures how much energy your body uses during physical activity. One MET, for example, is the amount of oxygen you use at rest. So according to the ACSM, reverse walking burns about 40% more calories per minute than walking briskly. This is a great way to raise the intensity of your exercises.

4. Boosts cardiorespiratory fitness

Walking is an excellent form of cardio that can boost your heart and lung health. Changing directions is effective, too. Reverse walking can improve your cardiorespiratory fitness, allowing your heart and lungs to provide oxygen more efficiently during exercise. In a small study, young women completed a backward walking and running training program. After 6 weeks, they had less body fat and better cardiorespiratory fitness.

5. Increases flexibility and range of motion

Retro walking changes your usual gait, which may improve your flexibility and range of motion and help with aches and pains. When you step backward, your knee straightens before your foot lands. This repeated movement can improve your range of motion if you have trouble extending your knee fully due to injury or illness. It can also boost flexibility in the ankles and hamstrings at the back of the thigh.

6. May help limit knee pain

Experts say that walking in reverse puts less pressure on the knee joint and kneecaps. It also strengthens the quads, which help support the knee. This may ease knee pain from illnesses or injuries like knee osteoarthritis and runner's knee. That explains why walking backward on a treadmill is one of many techniques that physical therapists use in rehabilitation programs.

The change in walking direction also engages low back muscles that stabilize your spine. Researchers believe this may help people with chronic low back pain.

7. Challenges your brain

Walking backwards is good for your brain, too. For many people, walking is an automatic process that doesn't need too much thought. But reverse walking challenges you to pay more attention and consciously think about how you move. This can help proprioception and body awareness as you move.

Learning new things, like mastering the retro walking technique, is one of many ways to keep your brain sharp. A study in Cognition found that people who walked backward — or even thought about it — had better short-term memory of past events.(SOURCE)

This is a great very short video from Dr. Patrick the motivationaldoc on YT ~ 

And of course, my favorite, Dr. Berg has a 2 minute video on how it can help your knee problems greatly!

Here are some controlled studies on retro walking to check out if that is your thing.

In summary, God gave us an amazing body and has designed our brain to right the body at all costs! Not only does Retro-Walking help the body in many ways as you can see but it challenges our noggin and as we age, that is always a good thing. 

US approves its first over-the-counter birth control pill in landmark decision hailed by advocates

 The US has approved its first over-the-counter birth control pill, broadening access to reproductive healthcare for millions. 

Regulators in the US have approved the nation's first over-the-counter birth control pill in a landmark decision that will soon allow people to obtain contraceptive medication as easily as they buy eyedrops.

The Food and Drug Administration cleared once-a-day Opill to be sold without a prescription, making it the first such medication to be moved out from behind the pharmacy counter. The manufacturer, Ireland-based Perrigo, won’t start shipping the pill until early next year, and there will be no age restrictions on sales.

Hormone-based pills have been the most common form of birth control in the US since the 1960s. Until now, all of them required a prescription.

Medical societies and women’s health groups have pushed for wider access for decades, noting that an estimated 45% of the 6 million annual pregnancies in the US are unintended. Teens and girls, women of colour and those with low incomes report greater hurdles in getting prescriptions and picking them up.

The challenges can include paying for a doctor's visit, getting time off from work and finding child care.

“This is really a transformation in access to contraceptive care,” said Kelly Blanchard, president of Ibis Reproductive Health, a nonprofit group that supported the approval. “Hopefully this will help people overcome those barriers that exist now.”

Perrigo says Opill could be an important new option for the estimated 15 million US women who currently use no birth control or less effective methods, such as condoms. They are a fifth of women who are child-bearing age.

But how many women will actually gain access depends on the medication's price, which Perrigo plans to announce later this year.

“The reason why so many of us worked tirelessly for years to get over-the-counter birth control pills is to improve access ... cost shouldn’t be one of those barriers,” said Dr Pratima Gupta of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Most older birth control pills cost between €13 to €26 for a month's supply without insurance coverage.

Over-the-counter medicines are generally much cheaper than prescriptions, but they typically aren’t covered by insurance. 

Women’s health advocates hope the decision paves the way for more over-the-counter birth control options and, eventually, for abortion pills to do the same.

Toxic Water in the United States of America ~ 3rd World Problems in a 1st World Country

 Jennifer Rae Vliet

Those of us who care, know quite a bit about the dirty truth about our water supply here in America. We also do not need the government to give us the truth although they should make that a high priority, but a large percentage of Americans believe that it is the duty of the gov to create a safe existence in relation to the integrity of our water supply. Unfortunately, a great many here in the states believe the gov is actually responsible for the toxicity or at best, they are allowing it to remain as such. To think that still in 2023 in this amazing blessed by God, Country and first world scenario...that we have to find alternative ways to safe water and that includes spending precious money on filtration/reverse osmosis systems for our own homes, is pretty unfortunate. 

The Dailymail this past week posted two in depth articles about the poisonous water we are being exposed to and the most egregious states of poor health and chronic illness' plaguing their populations.

Let's look at one title alone on this article from TDM:

Nearly HALF of tap water in U.S. is laced with hormone-warping 'forever chemicals' linked to cancer and infertility, major government study finds

Forever Chemicals

What is a forever chemical? They are PFAS chemicals and that stands for perfluoroalkyl substances or polyfluoroalkyl substances. They are called "forever" because they do not break down easily in the environment and build up in the body over time.  

How sick is that title??? Cancer and infertility. How refreshing is the cold glass of tap water, now?

The DailyMail goes on to say:

In the most comprehensive study of its kind, researchers from the US Geological Survey tested water sources at more than 700 locations across the country for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). These microscopic, man-made chemicals can take thousands of years to break down in the environment or in the human body, hence the name 'forever chemicals'. 

The report found that 45 percent of drinking water sources contained at least one PFAS - with highest concentrations in the Great Plains, the Great Lakes, the Eastern Seaboard and Central/Southern CaliforniaThe team's testing was limited to 32 types of PFAS out of more than 12,000 that exist, meaning thousands of the chemicals could have gone undetected. If that's the case, it may indicate that the problem is even larger than the study conveys. Researchers set out to determine levels of PFAS in water sources across 716 unique sites nationwide, including both urban and rural areas.

Over the course of five years spent collecting samples to detect PFAS levels, the team concluded that taps in densely populated urban centers were generally more laden with the forever chemicals than taps in rural parts of the country. 

This is due to the fact everyday home products from frying pans to food packaging contain PFAS that leach into the water supply, and urban areas tend to be situated closer to manufacturing plants.

The main purpose of PFAS compounds is to repel water and oil, which is what makes non-stick cookware so much easier to clean and why certain jackets and tents can withstand rain. 

PFAS can seep into the water supply by simply washing the dishes. The compounds can also seep into our food if the packaging is made to be grease-resistant - think fast food cheeseburgers - or if the non-stick coating on pots and pans begins to deteriorate. 

PFAS are also common in pesticides used to feed crops, which produces chemical-rich runoff that can enter the drinking water supply.

Last year, Texas Tech University researchers examined 10 common insecticides being used on cotton fields, but can work for food and other crops.

They found PFAS in seven of the 10 insecticides, with levels of PFOS – which has been strongly linked to cancer – as high as 19m parts per trillion (ppt) in one insecticide.

Here is the second article:

North Carolina and Iowa drinking water is worst for 'forever chemicals' after industrial waste was dumped into rivers for DECADES: Toxins are up to 46,000 times higher than EPA limit (read full story here)

Brunswick County, N.C. and Quad Cities, Iowa, have significantly higher levels of PFAs in their drinking supply

Brunswick County, N.C. and Quad Cities, Iowa, have significantly higher levels of PFAs in their drinking supply

North Carolina at large has been known to have significant issues with PFAS pollution as the state has a large number of military bases, airports and industrial sites. PFAS are commonly found in firefighting foam and gear, which has led to contamination of military bases and airports.

The problem is particularly grave along the Cape Fear River partly because of the DuPont plant in Fayetteville and its spin-off, Chemours.

According to the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the DuPont chemical company dumped PFAs for over four decades into the river, which supplies drinking water for around 350,000 North Carolinians.

Many of the area's residents have claimed over the years that they got cancer from the contamination. Back in 2019, scientists recommended expanding an investigation of suspected thyroid cancer clusters in the area, as reported by NC Newsline. 

In 2017, the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority filed a lawsuit against the company over their dumping of toxic materials in the river, and in 2020 the state's Attorney General filed another.

'Everyone should have the freedom to turn on their tap without the fear they are drinking poisoned water,' he tweeted. 'We need to take immediate action to remove these toxins from our water.'

Experts said the findings were 'frightening' given the scale of the problem and the link between the toxins and serious health conditions like cancer, infertility, birth defects and hormone issues. 

Dr. Mercola has a great set of at home water systems, here, and here is an important column on this topic from him.

How Safe Is Your Drinking Water?

If you feel parched nowadays, there are so many beverages available to quench your thirst. However, none of these drinks will ever be able to take the place of good old water.

Water is the still best beverage and the healthiest way to stay hydrated. The reasons are simple. You only need to remember that your body is composed of approximately 60 percent water. Water is a primary component of all bodily fluids, including blood, urine, lymph, digestive juices and sweat. It also supports vital chemical reactions that regulate our body functions.

If you want to stay healthy, maintaining the quality of your drinking water is a must. But you can’t tell if your water is safe by the way it looks, tastes or smells. Water safety experts have recently discovered a new and toxic threat in the water supply – disinfection byproducts (DBPs).

The Dangers of Disinfection Byproducts

Water providers use chlorine as a disinfectant. Aside from chlorine, chloramines and chlorine dioxide are the other common disinfectants used at water treatment facilities to kill harmful, disease-causing microorganisms in the water.

You probably haven’t heard of DBPs before. Disinfection byproducts are formed when the disinfectants react with natural organic matter like decaying vegetation in water and are more than 10,000 times more toxic than chlorine, making them the worst type of contaminants.

Chlorine has been linked to health problems associated with drinking water but the new research suggests that DBPs, not chlorine, are responsible for almost all of the toxic effects of chlorinated water.

The two most common disinfectant byproducts formed when chlorine is used are:

• trihalomethanes (THMs) and,

• haloacetic acids (HAAs)

Trihalomethanes are Cancer Group B carcinogens, meaning they’ve been shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals. DBPs have also been linked to reproductive problems in both animals and humans. A study found that men who smoke and drank chlorinated tap water for more than 40 years increased their risk of bladder cancer by 50 percent compared to male smokers who drank non-chlorinated water.

Another study showed that individuals on a low-fiber diet and consumed chlorinated water for more than 40 years doubled their risk of rectal cancer.

But drinking chlorinated water is not the only way DBPs can get inside your body. You’re also exposed to trihalomethanes if you shower, bathe and swim in chlorinated water. The cancer risk from skin exposure while swimming was over 94 percent of the total cancer risk resulting from being exposed to THMs!

Trihalomethanes in chlorinated swimming pools have also been linked to spontaneous abortion, stillbirths and congenital malformations.

To give you an idea how dangerous THMs are, Environment Protection Agency (EPA) regulations only allow water providers to have a THM level of 60 parts per billion. However, water companies are resisting this regulation because they feel it would be more expensive to remove DBPs from their water and are pushing to elevate the EPA standard.

Ideally, the safest DBP level should be ZERO. This goal is likely impossible to achieve.

If you get your water from a private well, DBPs are not an issue because most, if not all, private well water systems do not use chlorine.

Other Contaminants in Your Water

Aside from DBPs, a comprehensive survey of drinking water in the U.S. reveals that your drinking water may also contain a number of pharmaceuticals and hormonally active chemicals, including:

• Atenolol – a beta-blocker used to treat cardiovascular disease

• Atrazine – herbicide banned in the European Union linked to the decline of fish population and in changes in animal behavior

• Carbamazepine – a drug used to treat bipolar disorder • Estrone – an estrogen hormone blamed for causing gender changes in fish

• Gemfibrozil – a fibrate (drug used to lower lipid levels)

• Meprobamate – a tranquilizer used by psychiatrists

• Naproxen – a painkiller and anti-inflammatory linked to an increased number of asthma cases

• Phenytoin – anticonvulsant used to treat epileptics

• Sulfamethoxazole – an antibiotic • TCEP – a reduction agent used in molecular biology

• Trimethoprim – another antibiotic

Water safety expert Robert Slovak’s advice is to request a water quality report from your local water provider at least once a year to see how safe your tap water is. He recommends using a reverse osmosis filter to help remove DBPs and various pharmaceutical agents from your water at home.

Using a reverse osmosis filter is an important decision you can make but it may not be enough to protect you from water contaminants because you’re still exposed to toxins whenever you shower or bathe, wash your hands, rinse fruits and vegetables and clean dishes, glasses and other utensils.

This is Jennifer again right here! I cannot get out of this blue box. 

So, in summary, do whatever you can to protect your family and your pets from this utter poisonous, life altering nonsense! Please share in the comments what systems you may have and how they are faring for you. God gave us a noggin to use to protect ourselves and to live in the healthiest state of being and while we still have the freedom to choose a safer option, why not take the time to do so! Your life depends on it!

Health and wellness secrets of the Founding Fathers


By Jennifer Graham of Deseret News

If the Social Security Administration had been around in 1776, the Founding Fathers might have retired on disability instead of giving birth to a nation. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and other leaders of the American Revolution suffered chronic effects of diseases like smallpox, tuberculosis and malaria, and were devastated by the deaths of their children.

In her 2013 book "Revolutionary Medicine, The Founding Fathers and Mothers in Sickness and in Health," Jeanne Abrams, a professor at the University of Denver, explained how the primitive health conditions in the 18th century affected not only ordinary colonists, but the leaders of the fledgling nation.

As America prepares to celebrate its 240th birthday — looking great for her age, we might say — Abrams spoke with The Deseret News about the health of the Founding Fathers and their families.

Deseret News: You say that Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson were as well versed in medicine as any contemporary learned medical practitioner. (And they didn’t have Google.) What accounts for their knowledge?

Abrams: Jefferson was notoriously skeptical of physicians, although he was friends with a number of them. He is reputed to have said that whenever he saw two or more physicians conversing, he looked up to see if there were any vultures hovering overhead. He thought doctors as a whole killed more patients than saved them. He took what today we would term a more holistic approach to medicine, for he felt the body had a natural ability to heal itself if radical and heroic measures such as bloodletting weren’t introduced, and he thought people should understand the basics of medicine and be able to treat their families at home for at least common, more minor illnesses.

As for Franklin, we all think about electricity and his famous experiment with the kite and the key, but most people don’t know he also was responsible for a number of important medical inventions. I wear bifocals, as do millions of people today, which were one of his innovations. He also came up with a flexible urinary catheter (to help his brother, who had a prostate problem), and he experimented with using electrical impulses to reduce palsy.

Deseret News: How was pain treated in revolutionary America?

Abrams: They had apothecaries, and many early Americans made their own concoctions from medicinal herbs. Jefferson used thyme and lavender grown at Monticello for stomach problems and headaches. Abigail Adams applied cabbage leaves for aches and pains. They had receipt books — we call them recipes — that were handed down in families. For pain, they often used herbal remedies, an infusion made from willow bark which is akin to aspirin, and they used a lot of laudanum, which was a liquid distillation of opium to alleviate discomfort and insomnia.

In that era, people still looked at health in terms of the four humors (Hippocrates’ theory that blood, yellow bile, black bile and phlegm had to be balanced in the body). If you had a fever, perhaps it was because you had too much blood and some needed to come out, hence the almost ubiquitous use of bleeding for almost all illnesses.

Deseret News: John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and George Washington were the opposite of today’s anti-vaxxers — they advocated inoculation against disease, despite popular opposition. How did colonial inoculation differ from the shots our children get today?

Abrams: Inoculation put the live virus into bodies. It was controversial because it presented some danger. It could blow up to a full-blown case of smallpox, and people died from that. They also didn’t understand completely the parameters of the contagious period, when people were actively contagious and could spread the smallpox. Still, inoculation had a much lower rate of mortality than acquiring it the “natural” way, so it was a significant improvement in treating the disease.

In 1776, Boston allowed smallpox inoculation for a short time, and Abigail Adams and her four children were inoculated; one became extremely ill, and she witnessed the reading of the Declaration of Independence in Boston while she may still have been contagious and possible spread the illness.

Franklin lost his own young son to smallpox and so became a vocal advocate for inoculation, which he felt could save lives. At his own expense, he published a pamphlet on how to inoculate for smallpox, and because he knew it was an expensive procedure for the working class, he arranged for free inoculation of poor children in Philadelphia.

And Washington insisted that all troops of the Continental Army be inoculated against smallpox, probably one of his most important decisions during the Revolutionary War.

Deseret News: Alexander Hamilton is the most popular founding father right now, because of the Broadway musical. What can you tell us about his health?

Abrams: Alexander Hamilton was one of the victims of the 1793 yellow fever epidemic that killed 10 percent of the population of Philadelphia, but fortunately he had a relatively mild case and recovered. By that time, he and Thomas Jefferson were political enemies. Jefferson would become head of the Republican-Democratic Party, and Hamilton was one of the leaders of the Federalists. Jefferson thought Hamilton was simply faking when he first claimed to have yellow fever.

That infamous epidemic closed down the American government, which was then located in Philadelphia as the nation's temporary capital, and people were divided along political lines on how best to treat the disease and what caused yellow fever. No one at the time understood that it was a virus spread by infected mosquitoes.

Deseret News: Health officials say obesity has reached epidemic levels in America. Were any of the founders overweight or obese?

Abrams: Most of the founders were quite lean; remember, people in those days walked or rode horseback to get around so there was definitely more exercise, and they didn't have to contend with the opportunities technology has provided for increased sedentary leisure, prolific food and beverage choices, and less exercise.

Franklin was tall and muscular most of his life, as were Washington and Jefferson. Franklin and Jefferson were both advocates of healthy living and great fans of adequate exercise, and Franklin was almost manic about the benefits of fresh air and good eating and sleeping habits. Jefferson in particular ate little meat, but emphasized vegetables and fruit in his diet and daily exercise. John Adams was corpulent and was sometimes mockingly referred to as "His Rotundity" by his political detractors, but ironically he lived the longest of the founders, until the age of 90, and for the most part he was quite healthy.

Deseret News: Washington had severe dysentery during the French and Indian War and suffered from the effects of smallpox and tuberculosis. How did he continue? Were men and women of that era just hardier than people today?

Abrams: Washington was sick a lot of the time. They all were. He suffered from smallpox but fortunately recovered, and if you recover, you’re immune for life. Most people in the South had recurrent malaria, which affected both Washington and James Madison significantly. Mortality rates were very high in early America, and over a quarter of children died before they grew up. Even measles was a devastating epidemic.

There used to be a theory that early Americans, because they knew they would lose children, kept an emotional distance from their offspring. But when you read the letters of the founders, you know that’s not true. They grieved deeply.

Jefferson was predeceased by five of his six children, and Martha Washington outlived all four of her children. John Adams lost four of his six children. When he was in Philadelphia at the Constitution Convention, Abigail Adams gave birth to a stillborn baby, and — this was especially poignant for me — she wrote to him that it was God’s will, and he wrote back, “Isn’t it a wonder how much someone can miss someone they’ve never met?”

I don’t think the founders were hardened to loss, but they went on with stoic fortitude. It’s a wonder they were able to accomplish all they did from a political standpoint, given the backdrop of their tragic family lives.