Buzzfeed: Nancy Reagan Rejected Rock Hudson’s Desperate Request For Help With Experimental AIDS Treatment

Buzzfeed reporter Chris Geidner tonight revealed that official White House and Reagan documents show that Nancy Reagan rebuffed Rock Hudson’s plea for help in getting access to experimental treatment as he lay dying of AIDS in Paris. The request was made through publicists Yanou Collart and Dale Olson.

Three days after Hudson’s collapse, he still lacked permission to go to the French hospital or to have Dormant see him in the American Hospital. His team’s initial attempts on the ground in Paris were not working. So they started working higher up: Collart would work her contacts with French defense officials. Back in America, Olson would ask for help from the American government.

In a desperate telegram sent at 12:22 p.m. ET on July 24, 1985, Olson made his case directly to the White House in a message addressed to Mark Weinberg — a special assistant to the president and deputy press secretary in the White House.

“Doctor Dominique Dormant specialist treating Rock Hudson in Paris, reports only one hospital in the world can offer necessary medical treatment to save life of Rock Hudson or at least alleviate his illness. This hospital is Ministere du la Defence Centre d’Researches du Service de Sante des Armees Percy Hospital in the city of Clamart,” the telegram read, with Olson going on to give the phone number to the hospital.

“Commanding general of Percy Hospital has turned down Rock Hudson as a patient because he is not French. Doctor Dormant in Paris believes a request from the White House or a high American official would change his mind. Can you help by having someone call the commanding general’s office at the Percy Hospital at the above number,” the telegram stated. 
“Please advise what can be done.”

According to Buzzfeed, the former First Lady was “very sorry” to hear of Hudson’s condition but advised staffers that the Reagans shouldn’t give the appearance of pulling strings for their celebrity friends. She agreed with their suggestion to forward Hudson’s request to the US Embassy in Paris.

Noted AIDS activist Peter Staley told Buzzfeed: “I’m sure if it had been Bob Hope in that hospital with some rare,
incurable cancer, Air Force One would have been dispatched to help save
him. There’s no getting around the fact
that they left Rock Hudson out to dry. As soon as he had that
frightening homosexual disease, he became as unwanted and ignored as the
rest of us.”

Ronald Reagan finally made his first major address on AIDS nearly two years later at a May 1987 American Foundation for AIDS Research event. By the end of that year over 41,000 Americans had died of the disease. Buzzfeed wryly observes that amfAR was launched in 1985 with a $250,000 donation by Rock Hudson.

I strongly recommend you read Chris Geidner’s full report. The excerpt above does not do his work justice and there are copies of telegrams and White House correspondence in his story.

  • LonelyLiberal

    Nice. I didn’t think I could dislike Nancy and Ronnie any more than I already did.

    I was wrong.

    • teeveedub

      There’s always room for Jello. And for more contempt for the Ray-gunz.

    • Paula

      Are there any pictures of her standing in the sunlight? Probably not.

      • LonelyLiberal

        A few, but I think she was wearing her SunDead 6000 SPF at the time.

  • Lawerence Collins

    I knew I always despised her for a reason. Hypocritical GOP thug!

    • skeptical_inquirer

      Especially since when it’s HER and her beloved hubby that’s affected by his Alzheimer’s, THEN she’s willing to beg for research for stem cells, bucking Republican orthodoxy. (I am for stem cell research. I just despise that it takes actual personal suffering to make someone like her give a shit.)

      • LonelyLiberal

        Well, yeah. At that point it could help somebody she gave a crap about–a list of people that seems to be very short indeed.

        I always had a warped fantasy about tellin’ Nancy, “Sorry, hon, we would have had to start ten years ago at least, back when you guys banned it. So you can have fun watching your husband shit himself and drool. Enjoy.”

      • b

        “Nothing really happens. Until it happens to you.”

        • teeveedub

          Pretty much sums up the GOP mindset.

          • Joseph Miceli

            IOKIYAR.

  • HZ81

    “It’s also important that America not judge those who have the disease but care for them with dignity and kindness. Passing moral judgments is up to God; our part is to ease the suffering and to find a cure.”

    I hope Ronnie’s last moments on earth were as agonizing as he made the last moments of those suffering with AIDS. I really do. I hate feeling this way, but I do.

    • MattPS

      And believe me, I’m hoping for the same thing when it’s Nancy’s turn to check out. She never was anything but a stupid bitch (wouldn’t make a move without consulting her astrologer first), who liked to wear red dresses and had a lump of cold brass where her heart should have been.

    • Bettenguy

      Reagan’s budgets poured over two billion dollars into aids research from the time it was identified in ’82 through ’88. There is zero evidence the administration stood in the way of finding either a cure or a vaccine for the disease. We still, in fact, have neither three decades later.

      You can disagree with his Presidency all you want, but at least base your dislike on the relevent facts.

      http://igfculturewatch.com/2003/12/03/the-truth-about-reagan-and-aids/

      By the way, “Ronnie” did die a horrible death, from Alzheimers disease, another one for which we still don’t have a cure. Hopefully that knowledge will warm what remains of your heart.

      • Joseph Miceli

        Fuck you. He ignored the disease from the outset, sidelining it as a “gay disease,” and his inaction and bigotry led directly and indirectly to the deaths of our friends and lovers. I am GLAD he died a horrible death and I hope he’s in Hell. I hope that warms what remains of YOUR heart.

        • Bettenguy

          Well, show your work and evidence for your claims. The data I have posted says otherwise.

          By the way, you sound like one of those Westboro kooks. So much bile and hatred. It must suck to go through life like that.

          • Joseph Miceli

            We LIVED through it. Our friends and lovers died. I don’t have to justify myself to you or anyone else, nor give any weight to your opinion of me and my ‘bile.’ That you come on this site and defend Reagan to people who had to help their lovers and friends end their own tortured lives with stolen medicines and plastic bags…frankly, your tone deaf hubris takes my breath away.

          • Bettenguy

            I am sorry you have let emotion outweigh your reasoning ability. In the end, you are entitled to your opinion, but the facts speak for themselves. Reagan didn’t ignore the disease, and he isn’t responsible for killing your friends and lovers.

          • Liar. When you meet Nancy in Hell, tell her I said her taste in hats still sucks, and her husband’s personal intervention to get his pal a permanent patent on AZT is still one of the most heinous and unforgivable things to ever come out of the Oval Office.

            You and your beloved “Saint” Ronnie are a disgrace to our species. Take your revisionist bullshit and shove it. Those of us who lived and fought that lunatic bastard throughout that time know damned well what a liar you and the POS Teatard rag you’re quoting are.

          • guest

            What friend did he go to bat for?

          • Theodore Haigler, who took over Boroughs Wellcome (now GlaxoSmithKline) in 1986 after the former CEO (Sullivan) was forced out. Haigler had already been with BW for over a decade and had been a major contributor to Reagan’s campaigns.

            You can read more about the ugly history of AZT here:
            http://aidswiki.net/index.php?title=Zidovudine

          • Joseph Miceli

            I am sorry your agenda blinds you to the truth and allows you to pick and choose your facts in service of it. Now fuck off.

          • Bj Lincoln

            Fuck you boot licker.

          • Guest

            He’s not responsible for “killing them.” He’s responsible for doing nothing to help the dying and virtually nothing to help others from getting infected, setting a tone of callousness and indifference at the beginning of a horrible public health crisis.

          • Gerry Fisher

            He wasn’t responsible for “killing [our] friends and lovers” with his own hands and deeds. He was responsible for ignoring the death, suffering, potential new infections, misinformation, and barbaric treatment going on throughout the country. He may not have been a murderer, but he was a murderer’s best friend and ally.

          • HZ81

            He wasn’t personally affected by it, so no big in his world.

            It’s like it never happened.

          • Bettenguy

            I watched my brother die from childhood leukemia. His end came in ’83. I guess I could be as self absorbed as you and blame Reagan, funding, and not enough press releases but I don’t.

          • HZ81

            Were you able to mention “leukemia” in your house, or was it forbidden because it was shameful disease that only certain people got?

          • Bettenguy

            It’s embarrassing how backwards our culture was then, isn’t it?

          • HZ81

            It’s embarrassing if that were true in your house.

          • Todd20036

            It’s still backwards. If my father knew I were positive, he’d be afraid to breathe the same air I do, even though he is dying of lung cancer caused by smoking.
            Reagan could have come out front and been courageous – said things like, love your family, it’s a disease not a moral thing, stuff like that. Instead he pandered to the rightwing fucktards and pushed AIDS research back by a decade when it really mattered.
            And you are a miserable apologist.

          • Joe knows who I am.

            Not to mention a piss poor one.

          • Ninja0980

            It’s even more embarrassing that you are trying to whitewash the history of St. Ronnie.

          • Joe knows who I am.

            Not as embarrassingly backwards as you want to take it to.

          • Bj Lincoln

            Piss off troll! You can not defend Reagan here. I get that you were busy losing a brother to a horrible disease but so were we. We were doing what we could while our friends and loved ones died from a horrible disease no one wanted to look in to. All the while “Christians” were flying over head at Pride with banners that read,”AIDS is Gods curse on Homos”. I would say that reflected Reagan’s take on the subject.

          • Joseph Miceli

            The gall of this person is just appalling. Most of us are survivors of the plague and we all know someone who has it or has died of it. Yet this guy is going to try to whitewash REAGAN? That’s like telling an Auschwitz survivor that “Dr. Mengele really liked kids. Really.”

          • HZ81

            It is galling. To list all the reasons why would take all day, but these are the people who want to whitewash slavery and any American era they deem “not pro-USA enough” so I guess even very recent history is not exempt.

          • sherman

            It seems the only difference between those Westboro kooks and you is presentation.

      • HZ81

        Thank you for injecting the right winger view of Reagan with relevant facts from the NRO beginning with “Since the late President Ronald Reagan passed away on June 5, 2004, Americans have taken another look at this remarkable man and his record.”

        I can see we’re dealing with just the facts here.

        We’re to applaud Reagan for mentioning AIDS in a 1985 press conference (due to a question) while thousands were dead. Yaay, Reagan. He increased spending dramatically for AIDS research — after it was clear the heteros could get it, and not just the gays and the drug users.

        And just imagine the NRO’s reaction if President Obama hadn’t yet mentioned Ebola. Oh, it just gives me tingles.

        So proud of St. Ronnie for taking the plight of Americans seriously years after thousands of Americans were dead. I guess he couldn’t be bothered with that gay talk around his religious right buddies.

        Too bad NRO couldn’t reach out to C. Everett Koop for that article. He may have disagreed that spending more money as early as 1983 would have been a total waste of time.

        But again, I am proud of Ronnie, as only one of us ‘sick unfortunates’ could be. My sick unfortunate heart bleeds for him.

        • madknits

          I wish I could give you 10,000 up votes.

          • HZ81

            Well, get to clicking, bitch. 😉

            And thanks.

        • Bettenguy

          Your ignorance continues to show. Spending on aids related research increased under Reagan from the moment the disease was identified. It increased 450% in the first year, ’82 to ’83, and had triple and double digit increases every year of his administration after that.

          By the way, we have been “talking” about aids and HIV for thirty years and still don’t have a vaccine or cure. Reagan bringing it up every day would not have made a difference.

          • and your ignorance is showing. thousands of people died horribly, without services or support, alone and in terror and pain, because of Reagan’s unwillingness to deal with a crisis. communities were literally torn apart, and a generation of men was decimated.

            it’s called “money.” Reagan isn’t really to be commended for a 460% increase in something when the initial value is 1$. you seem really impressed he spent anything at all on research, but there is so much more that could’ve been done, and wasn’t. you really need to read some books, or grow a heart if you were there and just turned a blind eye to those who were dying.

          • Bettenguy

            Sorry, but millions were dying from other maladies and diseases during the same time as the initial aids crisis developed. They weren’t given federal support either. Maybe you should focus your anger on the friends, family, communities, and local and state governments for abandoning these patients, because that is where the fault lies.

          • Daveed_WOW

            Deflection is the act of a child.

          • GarySFBCN

            You have the right to be stupid, but you are going to get called out for spreading lies.

            You have asserted that the Bush administration never said nor implied that Iraq was behind the 9/11 attacks, and now you are defending the despicable Reagan administration.

          • There is certainly other fault. The fact that others were also assholes doesn’t excuse Reagan. I wish I believed in hell so I’d be able to imagine Ed Koch roasting there.

          • Gerry Fisher

            Compare the response to AIDS to the responses to the Tylenol poisonings and to Legionnaire’s Disease. Funny how it didn’t take 4 years to mention those situations.

            >Maybe you should focus your anger on the friends, family, communities, and local and state governments for abandoning these patients, because that is where the fault lies.

            Bullshit. Those were the groups of people who came through. (Not all of them, but enough of them.) Our communities, friends, families and many local governments pulled together and created a segment of the public health system FROM SCRATCH! Gay Men’s Health Crisis (in NYC), AIDS Action Committee (in MA), and DOZENS of other service organizations sprang up in the void left by the federal government and some state governments.

            Your argument moved from “partisan” to “offensive.”

          • Joseph Miceli

            Reagan fought tooth and nail against the kind of sex education and condom distribution that could have made a difference in order to stay in good graces with Evangelicals. He paid for Christian votes with gay lives. If there is a God he’s in Hell.

          • guest

            I would not use the word “ignorance” toward another, even when I may agree with you, when you cannot figure out how to use Capital letters or a basic English sentence structure.

          • oikos

            Say who? Anonymous poster

          • guest

            Say truth, by the poster, me.

            The 2 have nothing to do with one another idiot.

          • oikos
          • guest

            You can attack me all you want, since it is all you have when you cannot dispute the fact that someone who cannot figure out basic English and using capital letters calling another ignorant is stupid.

            I guess ignorance protects ignorance. Thanks for showing us once again that you are ignorant too.

          • oikos

            ^TROLL^

          • guest

            ^^^troll, Ignorant troll^^^

          • oikos

            ^TROLL^ .

          • guest

            ^^^Ignorant troll

          • oikos
          • guest

            Ignorant troll defending ignorance^^^^^

          • Gerry Fisher

            This is actually the first time I’ve seen anybody claim that Ronny dealt with the AIDS crisis well. Usually it’s painting a rosy picture of him by ignoring a dozen or so parts of his legacy.

          • HZ81

            Oh my God, there was an increase in spending for a new disease? Shocking. Did you know we were spending more funding research on Legionnaire’s Disease after almost 2 thousand were already dead from AIDS in the first year of the crisis? The crisis brave Reagan took 3 years longer to even mention?

            Legionnaire’s claimed around fifty people that year, BTW. I am sure they were straight so they warranted a mention.

            And we may not have a cure, but we sure don’t have the epidemic in the USA we had under Reagan, do we?

            Don’t go around claiming others are ignorant when your source of Reagan’s response to the AIDS crisis is a post-mortem puff piece from the NRO.

            And had St Ronnie bothered to mention the disease killing Americans, it might just have mattered to those fellow Americans dying from the disease, and to the bigots who gleefully claimed it was God’s will. You know — Ronnie’s buds.

          • Bettenguy

            Again, you are unable to refute anything said in the NRO “puff piece”. Are the funding numbers wrong? And if not, doesn’t that pretty much make the claims that “Reagan did nothing” a lie?

            Once again, we had millions dying from other diseases during the same 8 years who didn’t get even half the publicity (or Presidential mentions) as the aids crisis did. And lets be honest, had Reagan talked about it at every turn you and others would have faulted him for something else.

          • HZ81

            Again, “But, but, but…. he spent money” is the only answer a right winger has to Reagan’s lacking response to a crisis that killed thousands of Americans. Americans not deeming a mention from their President until he could muster the strength after it finally hit close to his Hollywood heart.

            From your own favorite puff piece…

            “Could Reagan have said more about AIDS? Surely, and he might have done so were he less focused on reviving America’s moribund economy and peacefully defeating Soviet Communism. Could he have done more? Of course. Who could not have? But the ideas that Ronald Reagan did nothing, or worse, about AIDS and hated gays, to boot, are both tired, left-wing lies about an American legend.”

            About sums up the abject callousness of the NRO and the Reagan apologists who push it. Dead from AIDS? Aw, too bad.. we’ve got St. Ronnie’s rep to protect.

            I’m glad I was able to have this back and forth with a Ronnie apologist. Just think, if only us “sick unfortunates” got AIDS, I wouldn’t be able to have this thrilling conversation in the first place.

          • BobSF_94117

            What’s wrong with your “proof” is that the increases during the Reagan presidency were a result of Congress asking for far more money than the administration requested. Reagan doesn’t get credit for that, so chop your numbers in half.

            The more salient point is the use of the bully pulpit. Reagan was silent for years. Even if he did use the word in 1985, he didn’t utter it again until ’87. What kind of leadership is that? Well, it’s the kind that signals disapproval and indifference.

            And nothing, nothing will erase the memory of White House press conferences with administration officials laughing and snickering about gay men dying and making it clear that the White House just didn’t ever talk about AIDS.

            http://www.alan.com/2014/10/18/that-time-the-reagan-white-house-press-briefing-erupted-with-laughter-over-aids-13-times/

            And those laughing press conferences continued right into (and I suspect beyond) 1985.

          • Jaan

            The laughing press conference looks terrible on the transcript, but in actuality they were all laughing at the questioner, who was a nutcase from a Lyndon Larouche magazine.

            The rest of your gripes concern what words Reagan used and when. Now, it may be that he should have said the word AIDS more often. But it is just possible that gay men having promiscuous sex with a staggering number of partners was slightly more to blame than whether he uttered a word in 85 vs 83. The CDC survey of the first group of men with full-blown AIDS indicated a median of approximately 1000 sexual partners. HIV prevalence soared in SF even after the first reports of AIDS became public. By the time it finally leveled out, a majority of MSMs were infected, and even today that figure remains a staggering 20%. Nothing could be allowed to stop the orgy. Sex was more important than life itself.

            But what am I saying? It must be Reagan’s fault! If only he had said AIDS a few more times, all of those MSMs would have become paragons of good sexual health. And it’s still his fault! No, wait, he’s been out of office for 27 years. OK, then, it’s stigma! Yes, stigma is to blame. There’s so much stigma in SF today, that’s why 85% of the cases are MSM. That’s why HIV prevalence for MSM is more than double in SF than it is in Oklahoma. If not that, it’s something else but it certainly could not possibly be a subculture that deifies anonymous sex with multiple partners..

          • BobSF_94117

            Thanks for demonstrating the kind of contempt that no doubt permeated the Reagan White House. Do you have similar comments directed at elderly veterans slobbering over water coolers and catching Legionnaires?

            The truth is that the laughing press conferences continued for years, with “gay jokes” directed at even reporters from the mainstream media. The Reagans are on film even laughing at AIDS jokes involving their then-dead “friend” Rock Hudson.

          • I’ve seen the video and it’s look pretty awful that way too.

          • Joseph Miceli

            Oh, I see. Because they were promiscuous they got what they deserved, unlike “innocent victims of AIDS.” (remember THAT lovely phrase?)
            I guess the only proper response to you for implying that they got what they had coming to them, is to say fuck you, too!
            Have a crappy day.

          • Gerry Fisher

            >But it is just possible that gay men having promiscuous sex with a
            staggering number of partners was slightly more to blame than whether he
            uttered a word in 85 vs 83.

            And how did Ronald Reagan assist the community to manage these behaviors? Community outreach? Hosting town halls? Spearheading new policies for bars and sex clubs? Educational efforts? You know, the things that the new local public health organizations did?

            Again…nothing. It was more important to strike a righteous, silent pose regarding sexual mores than it was to try to prevent more pain, suffering, and dying. It just…wasn’t important. They conveyed that attitude, and much of the nation followed in their footsteps. Thanks for nuthin’!

          • William

            The entire administration should have been taken out over the Iran-Contra Affair. If Ronnie was too incoherent to know what was going on, he should have been put in a home. Daddy Bush and the rest deserved imprisonment at Leavenworth or a firing squad after being convicted of treason.
            Instead the entire thing became a joke. At a minimum. 256 Americans were killed as a direct result of illegal arms smuggling, most of them US Army soldiers.

          • Joseph Miceli

            Isn’t it amazing. Yet another Republican commits treason and gets away with it. Astonishing! I guess they just threaten everyone with assassins or tax audits if they don’t agree to turn a blind eye. I cant’ explain it otherwise.

          • William

            Daddy Bush followed up with giving away billions in free money to his friends in the S&L business. Sonny boy Neil didn’t come out too badly either.

          • Joseph Miceli

            Hell, go back to ole Prescott dealing with the Nazis! Traitor and profiteer all in one.

          • Once again evidence that no one is more anti-gay than the gay conservatives. Who needs Westboro when we have people like you.

          • Gerry Fisher

            >Are the funding numbers wrong?

            They are evasive and incomplete? You an lie by telling only the part of the truth that supports your bigger lie. Do you really think we’re that stupid?!

          • Gerry Fisher

            You’re saying the bully pulpit has no effect? REALLY?!

        • Gerry Fisher

          >We’re to applaud Reagan for mentioning AIDS in a 1985 press conference (due to a question) while thousands were dead.

          A good 4 years after the epidemic hit the mainstream media (NYT).

      • Ninja0980

        Sorry, St. Ronnie dragged his feet on this issue as long as you could and your attempts to revise his image won’t change that.

      • Daveed_WOW

        I’ll never understand what is wrong with you people and the IGF. You think if you take their side, they’ll love you and let you into their club? No, they hate you. They want you to die. They smile when they take your money, you ass.

      • oikos

        Oh Honey , if you don’t want people to know you are a rightwing fuckstick, you should hide your comment history.

        • Bettenguy

          I am not ashamed of my comments, darlin’. I am also not rightwing, or at least not in the way you think.

          • oikos

            You are quite a RWNJ. You fellating dead reagan is quite a feat. Please do go on.

          • Bettenguy

            Calmer than you. Have a nice day.

          • oikos

            Let’s look at your ‘revisionist comment from the Washington monthly where you absolve Chimpy of all guilt in the Iraq war:

            Discussion on
            Washington Monthly

            30 comments

            Why Obama’s War Is Different Than W’s by Ed Kilgore | Political Animal

            Bettenguy

            Crissa
            4 months ago

            That the intelligence was wrong about WMD stockpiles doesn’t mean that Bush (and those that voted to go to war) were lying.

            We
            also didn’t go to war with Iraq because we thought Iraq was directly
            involved in 9/11. Nobody in the administration ever said that.

            Nobody ever said that? Nice.

          • Bettenguy

            Please feel free to point out where I was wrong.

          • oikos

            Other lies were told to this effect. Two months after the 9/11 attacks, on December 9, 2001, Dick Cheney went on Meet the Press and, when asked by Tim Russert whether “Iraq was involved in September 11,” mentioned a “report that’s been pretty well confirmed,
            that [9/11 hijacker Mohammed Atta] did go to Prague and he did meet
            with a senior official of the Iraqi intelligence service in
            Czechoslovakia last April, several months before the attack.”

            Hi Liar

            http://24.media.tumblr.com/1cfd502e4893fe2d3cd90cf7f2eebd35/tumblr_mhxwk2es0w1rlv2ano1_500.gif

          • Todd20036

            Not to mention when W said a year later that searching for bin Laden was not a high priority of this administration and that when Obama DID get him, a few nutjobs tried praising W for it.
            Oh, and Obama caused the Katrina debacle.
            I could go on.

          • Bettenguy

            You know transcripts are available, right?

            The Czechs alleged that Mohamed Atta, the lead attacker, met in Prague with a senior Iraqi intelligence official five months before the attack, but we’ve never been able to develop anymore of that yet either in terms of confirming it or discrediting it. We just don’t know

            .http://www.nbcnews.com/id/3080244/ns/meet_the_press/t/transcript-sept/

            Try again.

          • oikos

            No. Everything you said has been discredited. Since you are so adept at fellating right wing corpses, I expect you’ll be fellating Strom Thurmond and Jesse Helms next to tell us what exemplary human beings they were.

            http://mediamatters.org/research/2014/10/17/right-wing-medias-failed-attempt-to-justify-ira/201216

          • Joseph Miceli

            You are wasting your time on this shit stain. We all know Bush sold the Iraq war by conflating it with 911. We were there. We LIVED it, just like the early days of the AIDS epidemic. How this fool thinks he can rewrite the history that we lived….does he think we are as weak minded as the dolts that inhabit the right wing blogosphere? Too bad. The Joe.My.God posters tend for the most part to be intelligent and clear thinkers. His line of bullshit doesn’t sell here.

          • oikos

            Where’s BP when you actually would like to see him rant against a tool like Bettenguy? :))

          • Joseph Miceli

            Actually Bill was very on point and didn’t call names. I was so impressed I upvoted him, something I thought I’d never do. Good for him!

      • BobSF_94117

        Your “data” is a lie. What you call a budget for research was the budget for all spending on AIDS. In Reagan’s own speech from late 1985, he mentioned $126M. Now, due to Congressional action, that was DOUBLE what he had asked for. The figure your “proof” uses for that year is $508M. Kinda odd, no?

        The budget for all NIH research at the time was around $5B. $126M is 2.5% of $5B. Reagan’s requested amount would have been 1.5% (and I’m being generous in my rounding).

        With national policy and access to the president being in the hands of the likes of Bill Bennett, Gary Fucking Bauer, and Pat Fucking Buchanan, it’s a wonder they didn’t send out squads to kill us all outright.

        By the way, that last fellow, Mr. Buchanan, master of public perception, had Ronald Fucking Reagan attend a memorial for FUCKING NAZI SS officers in 1986. To my knowledge, Reagan never attended a memorial any AIDS victim, not even any of his “gay friends”.

      • Raising_Rlyeh

        Kind of funny that the people he unleashed, the religious right, is a big part of the reason we don’t have a cure. They demand that nothing be done with embryonic stem cells which show promise in treating things like alzheimers.

      • For those not aware, “Independent gay forum” is a far right gay blog that apologizes for vehemently anti-gay Republicans while attacking liberals for any minor offense, including ones that only exist in blogger Stephen Miller’s imagination.

        • Lumpy Gaga

          Thx.

      • Lumpy Gaga

        I was a young’un at Prep school (1st or 2nd year) when Reagan was shot. The voice on the loudspeaker was practically beside himself, but managed to inform us that he was not dead. Our cafeteria table let out a collective “Shit!”

    • Todd20036

      He died from Alzheimers. He didn’t even remember his name at the end.

      • HZ81

        I guess that’s a cold comfort.

        • Time Warper

          If it makes you feel any better he died propped up in a corner shitting himself while this cunt wife and their friends ran an illegal shadow government.

          • HZ81

            Oddly, that does. Thanks.

      • William

        I say dig him up and prosecute the corpse.

        • seant426

          Weekend at Ronnie’s.

      • Joe knows who I am.

        Or how to breathe.

      • And barely did in the last two years he was in office.

  • David Milley

    I have never forgotten how cold and calculating and cruel those two were. I’m baffled that Reagan’s presidency is beheld with anything but contempt, but am certain that the passage of time will continue to reveal its hollow, rotten heart.

    • LonelyLiberal

      You’ve managed to turn eight years of pure bile into a statement that’s actually poetic.

      • David Milley

        Thanks — there was nothing poetic about it at the time. People today seem to remember the ’80s fondly — I remember it as the time when everything we’d won was nearly stolen away from us.

        • LonelyLiberal

          I was quite young in the 1980’s, a wee gayling sprout.

          At the time, it just seemed like a royal mess and…well, actually, it took a while to get down to just a terrible mess.

          I’d still say it’s a mess, actually, but I’m not exactly an optimist.

          • David Milley

            I was in my late twenties/early thirties. By the great march in ’87, Reagan’s fatuous hypocrisy had burned into our brains like a white-hot fire. Reagan was the Nero of our time.

          • Joseph Miceli

            Well…until we got to watch “W” playing the geetar in Texas while New Orleans drowned.

          • Todd20036

            And read to a child while the Twin Towers fell.

          • Joseph Miceli

            New York…New Orleans…any other major cities start with “New?” Better watch out if another Repub wins the presidency.

          • David Milley

            (wan smile) I’ve always regarded Chimpy as being more along the lines of Caligula, but I can see how he works equally well in a Nero metaphor. Maybe it’s a plank in the (burning) Republican platform.

          • Joseph Miceli

            Well, the only fuck up he DIDN’T make was marrying his sister. He may not have made a horse into a senator, but he might as well have when he nominated Harriet Meyers for the Supreme Court.

          • me too, but by the end of them i was already into the Scene. what i remember most strongly is how hated we were. gays were illegal criminal child raping disease ridden weirdos and freaks, and if you dared to be friends with one you risked joining them as social outcasts among the straight majority. it was still somewhat fashionable in certain circles to be really racist and sexist too.

            the reagans personified all that. powerful and popular, they perfected that ‘family values’ crap to a T. and we were the primary targets. HIV just made it easier for them.

  • pj

    whenever i hear a teabag go on about how great reagan was i always remember that while he did nothing thousands of gay people died of aids. a lot of my friends. he and his wife are beneath contempt.

    • skeptical_inquirer

      I honestly think that Ronald Reagan could’ve killed their children and eaten them in a pie and they’d still worship him.

    • b

      Watching your boy die, while America and the christian conservatives love it. That is gay activism. They wonder where our strength comes from? It comes from friends lost to indifference.

  • Teddy

    So I guess the idea is that no matter what a Reagan does, we are supposed to seethe with hatred. If she had pulled strings to get him access, the story would be “Nancy Reagan helps wealthy, white, celebrity friend, ignores everyone else.” If she doesn’t pull strings, then the story is “Nancy Reagan leaves friend to die!” My take: access to experimental drugs should be based on criteria uniformly applied, without regard to class or access to people in power.

    • Spray on abs

      So Ronnie did everything he could by not even uttering the term AIDS until after 41,000 Americans died. They were gay so….who cares? Ronnie and Nancy were both part of the problem with our countries response to the crisis.

    • RobNYNY1957

      Yeah, it is odd how repulsive POS get treated like repulsive POS.

    • Todd20036

      Not entirely. His death DID give me a day off.

  • SFHarry

    When I was growing up people used to say: If Nancy Reagan gets one more facelift she’ll have a goatee 🙂

    • RobNYNY1957

      To her credit, she was reputed to give the best blow job in Hollywood. And had a miraculous 7 month full term pregnancy (March 1952 to October 1952).

      • Joseph Miceli

        She was a fast gestater.

      • William

        Those nine pound preemies are always in such a rush.

      • SFHarry

        I can imagine a baby wanting to get away from her as soon as possible.

  • I always thought Nancy Reagan was a relatively decent human being since she was so friendly to the Obamas – and flew to Washington when the President signed the stem cell research law to witness it. Everyone told me she was a bitch (including my Mom), and I see they are now right. What a cold woman.

    • Joseph Miceli

      Listen to your Mother!

    • skeptical_inquirer

      She was only friendly because he had something she wanted.

    • William

      Hell, Big Bird thought Nancy was a bitch. She showed her true colors during the annual White House Easter Egg Roll.

      Caroll Spinney appears as Big Bird. Spinney recalled to a newspaper that Nancy Reagan stayed in the tea room, “barking orders… to this Air Force captain”, making sure things were moving along. “We were supposed to do a show at 1:30, and at 10 minutes to 1 we overheard her snapping on the radio, ‘I want the show to start now.’ And he says, ‘But I don’t think we start just yet.’ And she said, ‘Well, tell them if they’re not off the grounds by 2, they’ll be thrown off.”

  • chr477

    We are going to let you suffer and die because, you know….we don’t want to give the wrong impression. I’m sure you understand.

  • Spray on abs

    Look how she holds her friends hand and smiles. Such an elegant c*nt.

  • TheManicMechanic

    Just say No.

    • Todd20036

      Compare that to “Get Moving”.
      Nancy never did any good even to drug addicts.

  • Max_1

    Saint Ronny’s little SheDevil…

  • Bill_Perdue

    The Reagan’s were virulent bigots who epitomized the “but some of my best friends are…” lie and then did what they could to increase the death rate from HIV-AIDS by blocking attempts to deal with it as a national and global crisis. They’re swine.

    There are still lots of politicians like that in DC and plenty of people are still fooled by them.

  • AngelaChanning

    Joan Rivers said many times that when Edgar committed suicide in Pennsylvania, she had trouble getting his body moved to California. She called the White House in the middle of the night and spoke to Nancy Reagan, who vowed to do whatever she could. So much for not wanting to give appearances of pulling strings for famous friends.

    • Speaking of right wing sociopaths, thanks for reminding us what a **** Joan Rivers was in spite of all the money she made from gay people, she never stopped supporting the anti-gay bigots.

      • Joseph Miceli

        She was also very much in favor of abolishing the “estate tax” and increasing income inequality. I did not care for her.

  • THEBEARCUB

    Sleep in Peace Rock, Burn in Pieces Nancy!

    • Todd20036

      Not a big fan of the “oblivion for eternity” theory. Pretty depressing thought IMHO

      • THEBEARCUB

        And that’s your opinion. Thank you.

  • hdtex

    If the reports that Mrs. Reagan is close to death are true it’s my hope that she is suffering immensely, and that her carrion is used to feed the flames of hell along with her beloved Ronnie. Evil personified.

    • Chicago joe

      I made a special visit to his presidential library, just to spit on his grave. Late in the day, just before closing, in the winter.

      • Dicky

        Oh, that’s right. You can actually just park and go to his grave, but skip out on the museum with its 16$ admission fee.
        They do occasionally have good visiting exhibits: Disney, baseball memorabilia, spy gear. But it still is the Reagan Library……

  • Ninja0980

    Just another example of what truly vile, horrible human beings these two were.
    And for those coming here to try and rewrite history, do us a favor and fuck off.
    St. Ronnie and others did NOTHING to help the LGBT community that was being ravaged by this horrible disease, viewing it as a moral punishment.
    And keep in mind this fact, there were thousands of people who got HIV/AIDS through blood transfusions as well.
    If St. Ronnie hadn’t dragged his feet on AIDS research, we could have known that fact earlier and stopped that.
    But we didn’t because of bigotry.
    The blood of hundreds of thousands of victims are on St. Ronnie’s hands.
    I hope he is burning in hell and keeping a spot for Nan.

    • Joe in PA

      just slightly OT: I just watched [last night] VITO via NetFlix streaming. AMAZING documentary for those of us that have lived through the epidemic (and others for that matter). It chronicles the life of activist Vito Russo. The courage and determination of the early activists are something to behold. I highly recommend it.

      • Bj Lincoln

        I will check that out. Thanks.

      • TampaDink

        Adding that one to my queue. Thanks, Joe.

    • William

      To be fair, the only things Ronnie could do were read a cue card and load his diaper. The rethuglican handlers knew he wasn’t coherent during the 1980 election.

    • One of those victims of AIDS is Issac Asimov. He had a blood transfusion when he had heart surgery and due to the foot dragging there wasn’t a way to test the blood supply for HIV. His publicist told his widow to hid the fact that Issac died of AIDS, so as to not tarnish his legacy.

      • Joseph Miceli

        Really? I had no idea! How aweful…and what a sad tarnish to the legacy of a beloved and prolific author that his wife hid his disease out of fear, when going public could have helped so many others.

      • William

        Tennis great Arthur Ashe too. A blood transfusion is the likely cause of him contracting HIV/AIDS.

  • Hue-Man

    The article fails to mention the destructive battles going on at the time between the French and the Americans over which country discovered AIDS and which was leading AIDS research. Here’s one quote from NYT April 1, 1987, which describes the settlement and includes a condensed chronology.

    “The dispute over credit for discovery of the AIDS virus was between Dr. Luc Montagnier of the Pasteur Institute in Paris and Dr. Robert C. Gallo of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., a unit of the National Institutes of Health. The dispute has soured relations between the two scientists and their teams, which have played crucial roles in AIDS research.” http://www.nytimes.com/1987/04/01/us/us-and-france-end-rift-on-aids.html

    I don’t know what role those disputes may have played in the French authorities’ decision-making – it can be very easy, especially for the French, to follow the letter of the law when it suits them. In any event, Reagan’s direct involvement might have helped the French be less bureaucratic.

    I’m of two minds about whether Reagan should have intervened. My negative side says he was a dying man who would not have been cured by any treatment at the time. Why should he have been treated any differently than the thousands who were dying in the West or the millions that were dying in Africa? Would he have gone public about his AIDS if he had been cured? My positive side says that friends should do whatever they can do for friends: the Reagans should have intervened. We know the path they chose.

    Last point. Our history is being forgotten too easily and is dismissed as irrelevant. The 1980s explain much of what has been accomplished in the 21st century.

    • David Milley

      Well written, and an important point.

      For me, the “even playing field” argument would only hold water if Reagan’s administration were making any meaningful effort to address AIDS.

      I have never forgiven Gallo for his role in this, either. I’m still shocked when I see him in interviews, speaking as an expert on anything.

      I’m not forgetting our history, nor dismissing it. But we were already strong before AIDS, and we were marching, however chaotically and merrily, toward wide-ranging equality. AIDS, and the losses we suffered and the demonization the religious right felt justified in applying set us back, forced us to tighten our focus, and limit our strategies. We’ve won some specific battles, but we still have so far to go.

      • William

        Gallo’s discovered the HIV virus in a sample sent by the French. He couldn’t miss it, with with the notes and arrows saying “this thing right here’.

        Co-discoverer my ass.

  • chris james

    Rock Hudson was turned down for admission to a hospital because he wasn’t French… did I read that correctly? What a horrid response to the plight of a human being in dire need of care.

    • It’s more likely that he’s have had to be admitted ahead of a long list of French people trying to get beds in the same hospital.

  • I have no need of this article to tell me what a horrific bitch Nancy Reagan was – let alone that pathetic sock-puppet POS husband of hers. While they went blissfully from one celebrity cocktail party to another, selling our nation and our future to their Wall Street masters, I beat myself to death in one fundraiser after another, one protest after another, nursing and burying one friend after another until my toes bled from my pumps and I had no tears left to summon for yet another funeral that the family of the deceased wouldn’t bother to attend.

    I begged and pleaded with my brothers to play safe, use condoms, get educated. Took people into my home who were barely acquaintances, let alone friends, after their money ran out and their families ran out on them. My daughters grew up with dozens of “aunts” and “uncles”, and lived with the stench of death and disease. They remember the horror and loss as well as I do, and for that I will NEVER forgive the Reagans.

    They opened the gates and let Wall Street rob this nation blind, they sold the future of the American Middle Class to the Chinese and Mexico, and they danced while my daughters’ childhoods were poisoned with loss I had no words to ease.

    If there is no special place in Hell for you and your husband, Nancy, I will be honored to personally create it for you.

    • Lumpy Gaga

      And decorate it like Aaron Schock’s office!

    • Joseph Miceli

      And the final violation is to have this jerk dredge up those memories for you. I am sorry. I’m making chicken soup and I wish I could send you some.

      • Those memories are essential, Joseph, they fuel a part of me that those horrors forged. They give me strength to face the fights ahead of us, because I cannot forget the hell we have already endured. The injustice of the Reagan years is enormous, made even more so because the men, women and children whose blood St. Ronnie is covered in did not live to see this day. They will never know the taste of the freedom and equality they could only dream of 30 years ago. That is the penultimate crime of the Reagan presidency, and one I will never forgive.

        • Joseph Miceli

          Well said, Mommie. You have a good day today!

  • Mark

    Just some thoughts that went through my head as I read…

    I sometimes think that our AIDS epidemic in the 80’s put the strength in our movement to equality. I will never forget the week after week after week of funeral after funeral after funeral. Initially, it may have been defeat – but at some point in the timeline it became a powerful emotion that refused to die or quit. I believe it became a single point of organization and effort to protect our very survival because it was quite clear the social ramifications went far beyond just its victims. I distinctly recall families making certain that AIDS or partners were not mentioned in obituaries to evade ‘detection’ that the COD was AIDS.

    As a group – we are now well organized – even with the infighting. And the very last thing important to us is Nancy – or Ron – reagan. They were actors – we’re real life in motion. Our “life” is now perpetual – theirs is over. So – when the history gets written, maybe we will give them the mention that their lack of effort fueled ours.

  • TexasBoy

    No doubt she consulted her astrologer.

  • ryan charisma

    I don’t like her. I certainly don’t like her husband.
    But in that time period, Rock Hudson was (most likely) not going to survive – no matter what hospital he was in. Sadly, I do see her point, as horrible as it is, that they can’t appear to be pulling strings for celebrity friends. I would have been the first person to call them out on this – had they helped Rock Hudson but not my non-celebrity friend dying in a hospital in Boston. I can honestly say “I understand that” – I don’t like it, actually I hate it. But I understand.

    • Palmer

      No, he wouldn’t, but this bitch snatched the last straw of hope this man had and washed her hands of him after she did it.

    • skeptical_inquirer

      I think most people are thinking that her feeling of ickiness towards him being gay completely overrode any desire to help out a friend. And if she can’t even help out someone she knows, she would NEVER ever feel the impulse to help someone that wasn’t a friend. Often it takes knowing a friend is gay that helps shake people out of their homophobia.

  • There can never be forgiveness for the Reagans over their handling of the AIDS crisis. Probably no first couple ever entered the White House with more gay friends and acquaintances. In addition to Hudson, who everyone in Hollywood knew was gay, Nancy had a large circle of close gay friends including silent film star Billy Haines (who had since become an interior designer, the biography of his life and career “Wisecracker” is excellent btw) and many others. So in the case of the Reagans it’s not as if AIDS was something happening to other people on the other side of the country. It was happening to their CLOSE friends. That alone shows you what sociopaths they were (and in Nancy’s case still is).

  • Palmer

    The Reagan Legacy is one of death, destruction and hypocrisy.

    Others have pointed out the hundreds of thousands of deaths that this man ignored, so I want to point out a few of the other parts of his “legacy”.

    Trickle down economics, which his own people call voodoo. This policy has been and is, the base cause of the wealth imbalance this nation is experiencing. It needs to be scrap, period.

    The export of manufacturing jobs and the creation of the “service” economy. I can’t remember the exact speech but it was in the mid-80s when Reagan called for the U.S. to stop building products, to let Germany, Japan, China et alia build the goods we’d use. This has been a massive failure that has led to the export not only of the manufacturing jobs that paid well, but the service jobs we were supposed to accept in their place. Another nail in the coffin of the middle-class.

    Reagan was officer in the Screen Actor’s Guild (president, I think), for which he received a boost to his pension, he received a pension from AFTRA, another from the State of California, and his pension form the United States, all of this on top of his Social Security entitlements. But this man made a name for opposing “double-dippers”, government workers who received a pension for their years of service, AND had the temerity to get the same Social Security benefits Reagan claimed. This one is personal for me, both of my parents worked for the government. Not as the condemned “paper-pushers” that Reagan used to condemn ALL federal workers, but people who moved 100 pound bags (my mother) all day long and my father who worked his way up to a supervisor’s position. Both of my parents received commendations for saving the tax-payers money with innovations and efficient ideas to streamline processes. But the saw their pensions reduced by thirty percent because they were cheating the American public by getting the benefits they were promised by their employer, the federal government.

    Now, much has been written about the many scandals of the Reagan Era, so I’m just going to name a few. Iran-Contra, the Lebanese Embassy bombing and the Savings and Loan debacle, as well as the fact the U.S. became a debtor nation during his presidency.

    Please bring up these things the next time some RWNJ rhapsodizes about the Golden Age of Reagan!

    • William

      Reagan was also ratting out fellow actors to the FBI during the McCarthy era. He destroyed many lives before he ever took any elected office.

      • Palmer

        I forgot about his HUAC testimony. Thanks for reminding me about that show of character on his part.

  • MexicoTom

    When she goes, may she rot in hell alongside her husband.

  • Lumpy Gaga

    “I don’t get it.”
    “Try more gum.”

  • Lumpy Gaga

    [Reads article.]

    I miss Elizabeth Taylor. [sigh]

  • JB

    “Mistakes were made.”

  • Happy Dance

    She should be charged with murder!

  • Sean Taylor

    I’m sure Ronnie is waiting for her in hell, where I hope they both rot

  • Octavio

    I remember reading an essay in Esquire Magazine about the Reagans — back when it published living authors such as Lillian Hellman, Truman Capote, Gore Vidal, etc. This particular essay was by Joan Didion and the topic was the new California Governors’ Mansion being constructed on the outskirts of Sacramento. Reagan was Governor. And she noted that throughout the entire home was just a single, small bookshelf that was just the right size for a small collection of Readers Digest Condensed Books. Nothing more.

    I hope Didion is well enough to still be writing at least one more book.

    This reminds me, it’s time to read Play It As It Lays once again.

  • eeyorgh

    Considering our current *lovely* pro-Reagan trolls, I think it’s time to pull this article back out: http://www.theonion.com/articles/embarrassed-republicans-admit-theyve-been-thinking,19248/

    Not only did Reagan completely mismanage AIDS, but it’s not like he was particularly good at anything else. It continues to baffle me than he is sanctified by the GOP.

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