Film shows Reagans’ chilling response to escalating AIDS crisis
A short film shows the appalling response by the White House to the escalating AIDS crisis in the 1980s.
Released late in 2015, the film ‘When AIDS Was Funny’, includes real audio from press calls at the White House from 1983-1985.
It explores how the Reagans reacted to the AIDS crisis as hundreds, then thousands of people died.
Then press secretary Larry Speakes, is heard making jokes about AIDS, saying that he didn’t have it, as the room of journalists breaks down in laughter.
Lester Kinsolving, who is heard throughout the tapes, a member of the White House press corps, continually asks whether President Reagan intends to take action.
Filmmaker Scott Calonico said Kinsolving was known as a “kook and a crank” at the time.
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“But, at the time, he was just a journalist asking questions only to be mocked by both the White House and his peers,” says Calonico.
Nancy Reagan’s funeral took place yesterday after the former First Lady died last week aged 94.
Hillary Clinton caused controversy by making a statement commending the Reagans for starting a “national conversation” about AIDS, but she later retracted the statement, saying she “misspoke”.
Watch it below: