Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has issued an apology for comments she made about former First Lady Nancy Reagan’s AIDS/HIV advocacy.
During a March 11 interview with MSNBC, Clinton said that Nancy Reagan had a “very-effective, low-key advocacy” on AIDS/HIV awareness that “penetrated the public conscience” and started a “national conversation” on the issue.
Clinton’s unprompted comments were far from the truth.
President Ronald Reagan and Nancy were not outspoken on the AIDS/HIV epidemic in the U.S. until years after it had become a serious health problem. He gave his first speech on the subject in May 1987, after more than 25,000 people had already died from the disease in the country, The New Yorker reports.
His administration also reportedly ridiculed people with AIDS, having made jokes about them at press conferences.
Clinton took to Twitter on March 12 to apologize for incorrectly crediting the Reagans with raising awareness of AIDS/HIV.
Steven W. Thrasher with The Guardian believes Clinton needs to make more than an apology for her comments.
He thinks gay voters and political groups should demand that Clinton start her own national conversation on AIDS in 2016.
“This would be the only sincere way to begin to undo the damage Clinton has done to the men and women who fought, and still fight, AIDS in the vacuum of political leadership,” Thrasher wrote.