Franklin Delanore Roosevelt is often considered the poster boy for polio. However newly released documents and autopsy reports indicate is was a deliberate publicity stunt after failing to garnish support or sympathy from the public. Presidential historian Peter Twomy explained “it was a joke within the presidential circle that caught too much fire.” In Peter’s research he noted that FDR initially wanted the ploy to distract people off his foreign policy decisions and onto his medical situation. “This worked for a while until the public relations turned into a personal tool.”
FDR had been experimenting with drugs most of his life and with his new image as a “sick man” he could use his status to legally prescribe him weed, LSD, and peyote. Ironically this habit turned into an addiction and brought a rapid decline akin to actual polio. When his death came of a cognitive degeneration from LSD it was easily blamed on polio to retain the leader’s reputation as a proud clean president.