WORDnote: Today is World AIDS Day.
“On Oct. 15, 1982, at a White House press briefing, reporter Lester Kinsolving asked press secretary Larry Speakes about a horrifying new disease called AIDS that was ravaging the gay community.
“‘What’s AIDS?‘ Speakes asked.
“‘It’s known as the ‘gay plague,’” Kinsolving replied.
“‘I don’t have it,’ Speakes replied. ‘Do you?’ The room erupted in laughter again.
“Speakes continued to parry Kinsolving’s questions with quips, joking that Kinsolving himself might be gay simply because he knew about the disease. The press secretary eventually acknowledged that nobody in the White House, including Reagan, knew anything about the epidemic.”
—Mark Joseph Stern, “Listen to Reagan’s Press Secretary Laugh About Gay People Dying of AIDS,” Slate, Dec. 1, 2015
• Editorial Comment: Happy World AIDS Day.
PeezPix by Ted Pease
Woodley Island Marina
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