Huckabee in hot water over AIDS isolation comments
The mother of Ryan White has requested a little one-on-one time with Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee after he told reporters this weekend that he stands by past comments suggesting AIDS patients should have been “isolated.”
Jeanne White-Ginder is the mother of the Indiana teen who raised awareness about AIDS in the early 1980s when he contracted the disease from the blood-clotting agent used to treat his hemophilia.
The meeting request follows an interview the former Governor of Arkansas granted to FOX News’ Chris Wallace on Sunday, during which he said he has been misquoted as of late.
“I didn’t say that we should quarantine,” Huckabee said.
“I said it was the first time in public health protocols that when we had an infectious disease and we didn’t really know just how extensive and how dramatic it could be and the impact of it, that we didn’t isolate the carrier.
“I had simply made the point, and I still believe this today, that in the late ’80s and early ’90s, when we didn’t know as much as we do now about AIDS, we were acting more out of political correctness than we were about the normal public health protocols that we would have acted,” he added.
“Would I say things a little differently in 2007? Probably so,” Huckabee continued.
“But I’m not going to recant or retract from the statement that I did make because, again, the point was not saying we ought to lock people up who have HIV/AIDS.”
Those comments, along with the ones Huckabee made 15 years ago, perked the ears of Jeanne White-Ginder.
“It’s so alarming to me,” she told AP.
“It’s very important to me that we don’t live in the darkness, such as when people thought the disease could be transmitted through casual contact,” she added.
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“We have to treat this disease like a disease, and like Ryan always said, not like a dirty word.”
The Human Rights Campaign and the AIDS Institute sent a letter to Huckabee today asking him to meet with White-Ginder.
The politician’s reply: “I would be very willing to meet with them,” he said while campaigning in Iowa.
“I certainly never would want to say anything that would be hurtful to them or anyone else,” Huckabee told reporters gathered in Iowa.
“I would have great regret and anxiety if I thought my comments were hurtful or in any way added to the already incredible pain that families have felt regardless of how they contracted AIDS.”
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