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Reply #44: The AIDS crisis is on his head - many died because of Reagan [View All]

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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-05-04 05:06 PM
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44. The AIDS crisis is on his head - many died because of Reagan
Reagan did not publicly utter the word AIDS during the first six years of his administration (his first public mention of the disease was made to the Third International AIDS Conference May 31, 1987). The Kaiser Family Foundations Daily HIV/AIDS Report for June 7, 2001 also notes that the San Diego Union Tribune quoted Reagan as telling the conference, Final judgment is up to God. In a 2001 speech at the Kaiser Family Foundations National Symposium on U.S. AIDS Policy, Dr. C. Everett Koop, Reagans surgeon general, said that due to intradepartmental politics he was cut out of all AIDS discussions for the first five years of the Reagan Administrationand that because transmission of AIDS was understood primarily in the homosexual population and in those who abused intravenous drugs, the advisors to the President, took the stand, they are only getting what they justly deserve.

For Reagan apologists to act as if his record on AIDS was anything short of tragic is both inaccurate and deeply offensive to the memory of the 60,000 people who died of AIDS during Reagans presidency, said Shana Naomi Krochmal, director of communications and public affairs for the STOP AIDS Project. At a time when our nation could have led the way in preventing transmission and fighting stigma and discrimination against people with HIV, Reagan offered no leadershiponly silence.

In the history of the AIDS epidemic, President Reagans legacy is one of silence, said Michael Cover, Associate Executive Director for Public Affairs at Whitman-Walker Clinic in Washington, D.C. It is the silence of tens of thousands who died alone and unacknowledged, stigmatized by our government under his administration.
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