Why did Ronald Reagan wait seven long, painful years before addressing the AIDS crisis? He became president in 1981, roughly the beginning of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, but did not mention it in public until 1987.
In “Sounds of Silence” in POZ, Charles Francis discusses with Trenton Straube the Mattachine Society of Washington, D.C.’s efforts to answer that question.
Earlier this year, MSDC uncovered documents revealing that Rock Hudson, dying of AIDS, asked the Reagan White House to help him see a doctor in France. The administration refused.