Today is #WorldAIDSDay and it’s important to step away from the buy crap consumer spree in which we’re ensnared to reflect on the disease that has taken millions of lives. It’s hard to believe it has been over 30 years since scientists first identified the HIV infection in humans. We’ve certainly come a long way in raising the necessary funds in combating this insidious disease, as well as eliminating the stigma associated with it. In fact, Avert.org reported that the world has raised $20.2 billion in 2014 and a projected $21.7 billion by the end of 2015.
But it’s even more important to remember how utterly awful Ronald Reagan was on this issue. He was so bad that it’s a wonder he didn’t mistakenly demand President Gorbachev to tear down that quilt.
In a new documentary short by Scott Calonico called When AIDS Was Funny, Calonico reveals audio of press conferences from Ronald Reagan’s press secretary, Larry Speakes, and members of the media joking about the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Moreover, they can be heard calling it the “gay plague” and laughing about one of the reporters potentially having it. Little did they know that Roy Cohn, Reagan advisor and America’s first Republican self-loathing homosexual, would eventually contract AIDS in 1986. These events were wonderfully depicted in HBO’s “Angels in America,” where Al Pacino won a Golden Globe for his performance as Cohn.
Watch: Documentary Explores Reagan’s Unbelievably Awful Response To AIDS Epidemic (VIDEO)
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