Back in the very early 1980s I was losing friends to a mysterious illness, one that appeared to grow from the shadows of the big cities with large gay populations. Elizabeth Taylor organized the first dinner to raise awareness of this dark cloud that was taking the lives her friends. She pleaded with the Los Angeles community for help. I vividly remember that evening as Miss Taylor openly wept that her recent trip to Washington DC was in vain. President Ronald Reagan not only ignored her pleas for help but refused to acknowledge this horrifically devastating disease even existed. At this time First Lady Nancy Reagan was losing friends to this illness and she still refused to utter one word.
I’m appalled by the Santa Barbara News-Press with its “celebration” of Ronald Reagan’s birthday. It’s a disgrace to those who lost their lives and their loved ones when the Sarah Palins of this world preach the virtues of “Reagan values.” Please shed some light on the presidency of a man who allowed a epidemic to grow from his own back yard to global proportions.