I am no fan of Ronald OR Nancy Reagan, so I’m really, really tired of the uninformed trying to link Hillary Clinton with Nancy Reagan when it comes to AIDS policy in America.
The Clintons were early and crucial champs when it came to AIDS policy. They instituted the Office of AIDS Research and increased federal funding for AIDS research and care by 356% and they successfully fought to outlaw discrimination based on HIV status in employment and housing.
This absurd linkage got created by the Bernie Brats when Hillary stupidly said some kind – but not wise words – at the funeral for a fellow former First Lady regarding AIDS.
“Because of both President and Mrs. Reagan — in particular Mrs. Reagan — we started a national conversation, when before nobody would talk about it, nobody wanted to do anything about it, and that, too, is something I really appreciate with her very effective low-key advocacy,” she said. [emphasis mine]
Although Clinton issued an apology within MINUTES of her comments, some people still won’t let it go. Even on World AIDS Day.
The irony is, Clinton was almost right about Nancy Reagan’s “low key advocacy”. In fact, the venerable national LGBT magazine The Advocate said almost the same thing in their obituary for Nancy Reagan just the week prior.
“Nancy Reagan is sometimes credited with pushing her husband to do something about AIDS, and he eventually supported some funding for research. The death of their friend, actor Rock Hudson, is often referred to as a pivotal moment.”
Nancy’s real claim to villainy is her refusal to get her husband to help her dying pal Rock Hudson get experimental treatment in a French government hospital that was closed to non citizens. Nancy coldly declined to get involved, reasoning people would accuse Ronnie of granting special favors to a Hollywood celebrity. This calculated response to a dying friend rightly earns Nancy Reagan her villain award. But this has nothing to do with Hillary Clinton.
Again, I’m no fan of Nancy Reagan, but to let an inconsequential misstatement erase Hillary Clinton’s 25 years of advocacy for AIDS research and care is ridiculous. It is ignorant, dangerous and it is most of all ungrateful.
But expected in our post truth world.