Bush Sr. Ignored the AIDS Crisis and Detained HIV+ Haitians

George H.W. Bush died on the eve of World AIDS Day, an irony not lost on many HIV/AIDS activists who remember the 41st president of the United States for his lack of action in the 1990s as the HIV/AIDS crisis raged on. Bush said little about the crisis during his years as vice president under Ronald Reagan, who didn’t even mention AIDS until the penultimate year of his presidency. Despite promises to do more after he was elected president, George H.W. Bush refused to address and fund programs around HIV/AIDS education and prevention, as well as drug treatment. We speak with Steven Thrasher, journalist and doctoral candidate in American studies at New York University. He was recently appointed Daniel H. Renberg chair of media coverage in sexual and gender minorities at Northwestern University. His recent article for The Nation is titled “It’s a Disgrace to Celebrate George H.W. Bush on World AIDS Day.”

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, looking at now the legacy of George H.W. Bush by taking a closer look at the former president’s record on HIV and AIDS. Bush died the day of World AIDS Day, right in the evening, an irony not lost on many HIV/AIDS activists who remember Bush Sr. for his lack of action in the 1990s as the HIV/AIDS crisis raged on. Bush said little about the crisis during his vice presidency under Ronald Reagan, who didn’t even mention AIDS for over six-and-a-half years of his presidency. Despite promises to do more after he was elected president, George H.W. Bush refused to address and fund programs around HIV/AIDS education and prevention, as well as drug treatment.

For more, we’re joined by Steven Thrasher, journalist, doctoral candidate in American studies at New York University, recently appointed the Daniel H. Renberg chair of media coverage in sexual and gender…

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