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.