Friday, November 09, 2012

Flashback: Reagan Administration Ignore AIDS

In October of 1982, White House spokesman Larry Speakes had this exchange with a journalist during a press briefing.

Journalist: Larry, does the President have any response to the announcement [from] the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta that AIDS is now an epidemic and have over 600 cases.

Speakes: What's AIDS?

Journalist: Over a third of them have died. It's known as the "gay plague." [Laughter] No, it is. I mean it's a pretty serious thing that one in every three people that get this have died. And I wonder if the President is aware of it?

Speakes: I don't have it. Do you? [Laughter]

Props to the journalist for being ahead of the curve and asking an important question. It is absolutely shameful that Speakes and the media treat an incurable disease as a joke. The media should have been all over this story in 1982. Instead, they willfully chose ignorance.

Democracy Now has a feature on Reagan's horrible AIDS legacy.

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