Unlike the people who wrote the upcoming “bio”pic on former President Reagan, Douglas W. Kmiec was there when Reagan set AIDS policy, and weighs in on the false statements Hollywood plans to put in Regan’s mouth:
How Ronald Reagan viewed AIDS was of particular importance to me, since the former president tasked me with advising him on certain legal aspects of AIDS policy. In the late 1970s and 80s, AIDS was not well known to the general public, and there was considerable uncertainty in the medical community about how AIDS was transmitted. Researchers at Harvard had suggested that transmission by saliva was possible, and there was a good deal of public hysteria driven by the thought that the fatal illness could be spread by such casual contact. Schools were denying entrance to children with the disease, and some hospitals even declined to treat AIDS patients.
It was the Reagan administration that cut through this misinformation and, after careful deliberation, concluded that AIDS patients were entitled to be treated as “handicapped” under federal laws that protect such individuals from discrimination.
This would have been a courageous act for any president, but it was even more so for President Reagan. Given the medical uncertainty and the fact that AIDS was transmitted largely through sexual promiscuity, President Reagan not only needed to educate the public, but also to encourage his core political base to have charity toward those who consciously engage in morally questionable behavior.
Read it all and shout it from the rooftops; only the light of truth will cause the Hollywood liars and spin-meisters to scatter like the cockroaches they are. Or something.