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Reagan And AIDs

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Quotes from here:

Few men have known Ronald Reagan longer or better than Edwin Meese III. He began working in 1967 with then-governor Reagan in Sacramento, California. He became a president adviser on January 20, 1981, and was appointed Reagan’s attorney general in February 1985.

Meese described to me the TV movie’s take on Reagan, AIDS, and gays as “totally unfair, and totally unrepresentative of his views or anything he ever said.” Meese, who now chairs the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, recalls AIDS as a key issue with which Reagan’s senior staff grappled.

“I can remember numerous sessions of the domestic-policy council where the surgeon general provided information to us, and the questions were not whether the federal government would get involved, but what would be the best way. There was support for research through the NIH. There also were questions about the extent to which public warnings should be sent out. It was a question of how the public would respond to fairly explicit warnings about fairly explicit things. Ultimately, warnings were sent out.”

“As I recall, from 1984 onward — and bear in mind that the AIDS virus was not identified until 1982 — every Reagan budget contained a large sum of money specifically earmarked for AIDS,” says Peter Robinson, a former Reagan speechwriter and author of How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life. “Now, people will argue that it wasn’t enough,” Robinson adds. “But, of course, that’s the kind of argument that takes place over every item in the federal budget. Nevertheless, the notion that he was somehow callous or had a cruel or cynical attitude towards homosexuals or AIDS victims is just ridiculous.”

Here are the actual numbers in regards to AIDs funding:

1982
$8,000,000

1983
$44,000,000
% growth over previous year:
450

1984
$103,000,000
% growth over previous year:
134.09

1985
$205,000,000
% growth over previous year:
99.03

1986
$508,000,000
% growth over previous year:
147.80

1987
$922,000,000
% growth over previous year:
81.50

1988
$1,615,000,000
% growth over previous year:
75.16

1989
$2,322,000,000
% growth over previous year:
43.78

Total
$5,727,000,000

But, hey, six billion ain’t that much, right? WRONG.

We have spent tens of billions since then. And have come up with nothing.

Reagan didn’t kill gays. Gays killed gays. Reagan tried to save gays. But he couldn’t. Just like every President since couldn’t.

Sorry, Leftists. You’ll have to slander the great, dead man in another way. Because this way simply doesn’t make sense.

About RJ

  • http://www.sxxxy.org Nyx

    Reagan died from aids.

  • boomcrashbaby

    RJ, that’s the National Review. Do you think you can wave the National Review in front of me and expect me to buy it? Geez. That’s like wagging your finger in my face and saying ‘Ann Coulter said so!’.

    I get my sources from health care professionals. Those who are/were on the front lines of the battlefield during the epidemic.

    From the encyclopedia of AIDS:

    http://www.thebody.com/encyclo/presidency.html

    “When AIDS was first reported in 1981, Reagan had recently assumed office and had begun to address the conservative agenda by slashing social programs and cutting taxes and by embracing conservative moral principles. As a result, Reagan never mentioned AIDS publicly until 1987.”

    “The Reagan administration treated AIDS as a series of state and local problems rather than as a national problem. This helped to fragment the limited governmental response early in the AIDS epidemic.”

    Trying to convince ME that Reagan did not fail in his duties in regards to AIDS, is not going to happen. I remember RJ. It wasn’t something on the other side of the world for me, it was in my front yard. I remember the Moral Majority preventing funding for counseling PWA’s. I remember Jerry Falwell saying that AIDS was the wrath of God.

    To continue with the comments of HIV professionals:

    “This larger conservative climate enabled the Reagan administration’s indifference toward AIDS. The administration undercut federal efforts to confront AIDS in a meaningful way by refusing to spend the money Congress allocated for AIDS research.”

    “Reagan finally mentioned the word “AIDS” publicly at the Third International AIDS Conference held in Washington, D.C. Reagan’s only concrete proposal at this time was widespread routine testing.”

    I don’t want to cut too much from the article and paste it here. You should read the article. It is from those who battle AIDS everyday and have since it first broke out. THEM, I will trust on this issue over the National Review. Nice attempt though.

    Finally, the article goes on about Reagan SILENCING Surgeon General Koop, PREVENTING him from doing his job to educate the American public, and doing nothing to prevent the ostracization of people who where infected.

    I know Reagan made great achievements in his presidency, RJ. He united the country, people were down because of the economy and whatnot, and he gave the country (most of it anyway) optimism, and he was a great motivational speaker. He moved a lot of people, I don’t deny that. But like the current Republican running the country today, the lives – the citizens he cared about, was a select group.

    I saw with my own two eyes he wasn’t there when his citizens needed him. No right wing website is gonnna convince me otherwise. If you want to convince me of something otherwise, you need to go to professionals in the field for info. I’d be a fool if I put faith in a right wing website.

    I vote no on the monument, but I won’t protest a bobblehead.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    That’s right, AIDS is Reagan’s fault. I distinctly remember it was him telling people to go around having unprotected anal sex and sharing drug needles.

    On the other hand, if he had actually done anything to seriously curtail the high risk behaviors- the only type of things that he could have done that would have been significantly effective, ACT UP would have been screaming blue bloody murder that he was an evil oppressor acting on behest of Falwell. And they might would have been right. As it was though, Reagan actually in practice did very little for the social conservatives in his coalition- but that’s another topic.

    There was no magic wand for Reagan to wave and make it better. I know, Daddy should just DO SOMETHING. Thing was, there was nothing for him to do.

    Did I mention that curing the sick and giving sight to the blind are NOT in the president’s job description?

    I think those jobs belong to Jesus and/or Eli Lilly.

  • boomcrashbaby

    That’s right, AIDS is Reagan’s fault. I distinctly remember it was him telling people to go around having unprotected anal sex and sharing drug needles.

    If you actually read a post of mine, you will see that what I talk about is him not being the leader he was elected to be, and be there for his citizens in a time of crisis. I’m talking about informing the public, taking charge of the government and devoting resources and personnel towards a looming epidemic. I’m not sure how you got anal instruction out of that. With such inaccurate generalization of my words, I can only assume you are practicing for an internship at Foxnews.

    There was no magic wand for Reagan to wave and make it better. I know, Daddy should just DO SOMETHING. Thing was, there was nothing for him to do…..Did I mention that curing the sick and giving sight to the blind are NOT in the president’s job description?

    No, you didn’t mention it, and that’s good, cuz it would sound awful stupid if you did. Nobody asked Reagan to cure the sick and give sight to the blind.

    If there is a biological attack via weapons, and thousands started dying, I don’t think you’d be smirking too much if someone told you that Daddy Bush’s job wasn’t to do something to save Americans from disease. Is curing convulsions, deformaties and painful death in the president’s job description? No. But protecting and informing Americans IS.

    It’s not the President’s job to protect Americans from harm, unless it’s from a terrorist now? Then fire sprinkler laws, helmet laws, seatbelt laws, food inspection, speed limits, MANDATORY VACCINATIONS for school, etc……oh, this is a stupid conversation and I don’t even want to get into it.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    No, it’s not the government’s proper job to protect you from all harm. Having enough sense not to smoke yourself to death is your own responsibility, for example.

    Defending the country from military invasion, however, IS the main point of what the federal government is responsible for. Responding to massive military attacks definitely make the top of the proper priority list for the government.

    Reagan opposed motorcycle helmet laws, by the way. He’d probably have opposed seatbelt laws, though I don’t recall it being on his radar.

  • Shark

    Al: “…it’s not the government’s proper job to protect you from all harm. Having enough sense not to smoke yourself to death is your own responsibility, for example.”

    How ’bout a nationwide pandemic? How ’bout mad cow disease in the national food supply? How ’bout the successful smallpox eradication program? Ditto with polio?

    1918 ring a bell? 20 million dead from flu?

    Think the nasty federal government should ‘interfere’ with the public’s personal lives in those ‘examples’?

    um… I’m trying to remember: did Libertarians turn down those polio shots?

  • Shark

    Big Al D. Ripper: “I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids!”

    Shark: “Mein Fuher! I can walk!”

    (from Dr. Strangelove)

  • JR

    We have spent tens of billions since then. And have come up with nothing.

    Actually, we’ve come up with quite a lot. While we haven’t “cured” the disease, treatments have greatly increased the life expectancy of those infected with HIV. Magic Johnson is still alive, isn’t he? That’s because of the money spent. If we’d spent more sooner, maybe Freddie Mercury would still be alive. I’d have appreciated that.

  • http://www.gwbush.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    “…[I]f [Reagan] had actually done anything to seriously curtail the high risk behaviors-the only type of things that he could have done that would have been significantly effective-ACT UP would have been screaming blue bloody murder that he was an evil oppressor acting on behest of Falwell.”

    You’re 100% correct, Al.

    Ever see And the Band Played On? When there was an attempt to close down some of the places where gay men would engage in anonymous sex without condoms, the Gay-Rights types went berzerk.

    Blaming Reagan for AIDs is silly. (Six Billion Bucks says I’m right.) It’s like blaming Bush for West Nile Virus.

  • http://www.jackejet.com jack e. jett

    i’ll take bush and the west nile virus to block…tom.

    jack

  • JR

    Blaming Reagan for AIDs is silly. (Six Billion Bucks says I’m right.)

    Oh great, now they’re printing money that spouts right-wing propaganda.

  • http://macaronies.blogspot.com Mac Diva

    LOL! JR cracks me up, often. He is very succinct, but will zoom right in on whatever does not make sense.

    Not just the National Review, Steve (Boom). And, Ed Meese as a source. Jeez! Why not the Reagans’ astrologer? She was reportedly running the show anyway.

    The entire discussion is misshapen because the question put makes no sense. (Not surprising, considering its origination.) The real question is not whether Reagan caused AIDS, it is whether earlier intervention — in the forms of both money and a national policy of stopping the spread of the disease — might have prevented additional infections and saved lives.

  • boomcrashbaby

    Thank you Mac Diva. It isn’t often one finds another person willing to wade through the muck, in an attempt to clear things up.

    It’s amazing how there were people who commented about Iran-contra, reaganomics or how Reagan killed thousands in the third world, yet, all I did was say, my perception was that he wasn’t there when needed, and look how they zeroed in on that.

    The only true justice here is that multiple Reagan blogs are now covered with graphic descriptions of gay sex, for all eternity. And I wasn’t even the one to do it!